Thursday, December 14, 2017

EXTRA: School district consolidation? Those are fightin’ words to many!

Republican gubernatorial challenger Jeanne Ives, the state senator from Wheaton, is most likely trying to appeal to people from mid-sized communities that think they’re the ideal we all ought to follow, and that Chicago is just too damned big on so many levels.
IVES: Ed talk not thoroughly thought out

But I wonder if Ives has any idea how many people she’s going to tick off across Illinois with her latest talk about how school districts should be consolidated.

THE DAILY HERALD suburban newspaper reported how Ives said this week that we have too many school districts. She wants communities to merge their elementary and high school districts into one unit, and for those school districts in rural communities with the tiny graduating classes to consider merging into one with other area entities.

Meanwhile, she’s spouting off a routine claim about the Chicago Public Schools – it’s too big. It ought to be broken up into several smaller school districts.

What it basically amounts to is that Ives has the vision based off what exists in her home community that she thinks everybody in the state of Illinois ought to be obligated to follow.

Which is odd since one of the mantras of Republican dogma is the idea of local control. Local people know best what works for their communities.

SHE DOESN’T SEEM to be a strong believer in such ideals, if she’s really talking about this.

Because the reality for many of those rural communities that have tiny school districts because the overall population is small is that the school district often is the pride of the community, Something they tout as a sign of their individuality and independence.

Does Ives really want to be the candidate who tells certain communities they’re not important enough to have their own school district? Not if she really expects to get the votes of all those rural residents who are disgusted with the performance of Gov. Bruce Rauner!

As for Chicago, wanting to tamper with the Public Schools’ overall structure is just the usual nonsense-talk from someone who thinks they can undermine the schools’ influence by breaking it down further.

I’D EXPECT THAT schools officials across Illinois will now look skeptically at Ives’ candidacy for governor. She’s the one who would threaten to put many of them out-of-work.

It would be similar to those people who think that across the Chicago suburbs, there’s really no need for every single municipality to have its own police department. Let the county sheriff have authority over those communities.

Yet for a lot of suburban public officials, the one bit of significant authority they have is being able to hire (and fire) their own police chief. That’s something they would resist vociferously.

I suspect that a schools’ structure brawl has the potential to create an equal stink. One that I’m sure the Ives campaign would regret bringing upon itself should the issue actually catch on.


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