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Logan Square Principal Invites Rauner To School To See 'Prison' Conditions

By Paul Biasco | June 9, 2016 4:47pm
 Brentano Math and Science Academy
Brentano Math and Science Academy
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LOGAN SQUARE — Local politicians continue to bash Gov. Bruce Rauner over his comment that some CPS schools are "crumbling prisons."

The principal of one Logan Square school opened his classroom doors to members of the media Thursday morning to show the stark differences between Brentano Math and Science Academy and a prison.

Principal Seth Lavin invited Rauner to come and take a look for himself.

During a tour of the school with local state representatives, including a kindergarten and a third grade classroom, one student told State Rep. Jaime Andrade (D-Chicago) how she would like to spend the summer.

"I would rather camp out here than go to Disneyland," the third grade girl told Andrade.

Andrade, whose district includes the school, asked the girl to repeat what she said to the room of reporters.

"The governor says that our schools are prisons and our students are prisoners. A school is not made up by its structure," Andrade said. "The school is made up of its families, of its teachers, of its administrators, that is what a school is.”

Democratic State Reps Will Guzzardi, Ann Williams, Rob Martwick and Andrade joined Lavin on the tour of the school.

"We invite the governor to come here and visit some real CPS schools and see what they look like," Guzzardi said.

The tour follows warning from CPS officials that principals could expect budget cuts of about 26 percent as city leaders continue to push state lawmakers to change the way schools are funded and close CPS' $1 billion budget deficit.

At Brentano, 2723 N. Fairfield Ave., that would mean cutting about $900,000 from the current budget.

"It makes me pause to think about what a 26 percent cut looks like," Lavin said. "Twenty-six percent cuts look like a huge number of teacher cuts. It looks like no money for anything that isn’t teachers — No textbooks, no paper, no crayons. And it looks like me breaking my promise to all the families I tell to come here because it’s a wonderful school, because it will be very difficult to do that with one in four dollars gone from what we have now.”

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