This is graduation weekend at Chicago’s public high schools, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel Saturday used his speech to graduates of Crane Prep to call on Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislators to approve additional funding for education.
“Gov. Rauner, Springfield, when you get together on (Monday) you back up the kids at Crane and stop pulling the rug from underneath them,” he said. “They are accomplishing incredible goals.”
He touted Crane’s 100 percent graduation and college acceptance rates, and said five years ago, when discussions were underway to determine the future of Crane, a neighborhood high school, “a lot of people” said it could not succeed with a curriculum strong in science and a re-purposing as a “medical preparatory high school.”
The 2017 graduating class is the first for the reconstituted Crane, and Emanuel is pleased.
“I want Springfield to see what I see in front of me,” Emanuel said as the graduates whooped and applauded.
Financing for the Chicago Public Schools and for Chicago teacher pensions have been among the stickiest issues in the state budget stalemate. The Multi-State Lottery Association warned the state Thursday that if the conflict is not resolved by June 30, the Illinois Lottery will no longer be allowed to sell Powerball and Mega Millions tickets.
The Illinois Lottery, which was initially set up to help fund education in Illinois, provides nearly $700 million a year toward schools statewide that otherwise would have to come from the state’s General Fund or property taxes. But the state itself admits that only 24 cents of every dollar spent on lottery tickets go toward education. The majority goes toward prizes.