Feb 29, 2016
Chicago State University is threatening to close. This South Side school that serves mostly black, working class students canceled spring break so it can try to finish the semester before it runs out of money. It sent out layoff notices to its entire workforce and declared a “state of exigency,” all because it has not gotten any funds from the state.
This is the result of a despicable soap opera being acted out between the Republican Illinois governor, Bruce Rauner, and the Democratic legislature, who have refused to pass a state budget and have stopped paying the state’s bills – or at least, those bills that help ordinary people.
These politicians want to threaten teachers and state workers into accepting big cuts. Don’t want to give up your pension? We’ll just close the schools! They are so disgusting they might even carry out their threat.
But of course, the state HAS NOT stopped paying all its bills. They have not skipped one interest payment to the banks. No, they pay what they want to pay.
Chicago State is the first school to go on the chopping block because it’s the poorest. And it’s the poorest because it serves the working class students who need the most help – the ones the politicians in Springfield couldn’t care less about.
Since last fall, Chicago State University students have been protesting and rallying. They marched downtown, went to the state capital Springfield, and even blocked the I-94 expressway. They are right – standing up to these bullies is the only way out of the mess. Too bad students at every school in Illinois don’t yet realize it is in their interest to join the fight.