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Rauner Continues to Push CPS Takeover, Wants Downstate Democrats to Help

By Ted Cox | January 21, 2016 12:36pm | Updated on January 22, 2016 10:54am
 Gov. Bruce Rauner insists there's support for his bid to take over Chicago Public Schools.
Gov. Bruce Rauner insists there's support for his bid to take over Chicago Public Schools.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

THE LOOP — Gov. Bruce Rauner continues to insist his plan to seize control of Chicago Public Schools is not "dead on arrival" as he tries to garner support from suburban and downstate legislators.

"I believe we'll have the votes," Rauner said Thursday on the proposal for the state Board of Education to take control of CPS unveiled the day before.

State Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) said Wednesday in no uncertain terms, "This is not going to happen."

That didn't keep Rauner from trying to gain leverage on the issue Thursday.

"The legislators in both political parties — and especially the Democrats — have got to wake up," Rauner said at a Thompson Center news conference. "We have been subsidizing the patronage and abuse in CPS for years."

Rauner tried to use the issue to peal off suburban and downstate Democrats who've been loyal to House Speaker Michael Madigan. He charged that suburban and downstate taxpayers "are sending extra cash to CPS," so their representatives and senators "better wake up and protect their taxpayers."

"Our legislators are gonna get called out," Rauner added. "They take money from the Chicago political machine. They vote for the speaker to stay in power, and it's breaking our state. The legislators around the suburbs of Chicago and downstate better wake up and start smelling the coffee and deal with a vote for the right thing."

CPS Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool has countered that CPS has 20 percent of the state's students, but receives only 15 percent of the state's education funding.

When asked how legislators would be "called out," Rauner said only, "You watch."

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