War of words escalates between GOP, CPS head after ‘political’ letter sent to students

CHICAGO -- The war of words is escalating between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool.

On Tuesday, WGN was first to report that a letter was sent home to all 381,000 CPS students blasting Gov. Bruce Rauner and ignoring any role Democrats may have played in the state’s budget woes. The letter was signed by Claypool.

In response, the Chairman of the Chicago Republican Party and Chicago Public Schools parent Chris Cleveland filed an ethics complaint against Claypool for using taxpayer funds to produce a "political" letter to send home with students. The GOP calls it playing politics on the taxpayer’s dime.

"Using public time and resources on such a letter should always be considered a misuse of taxpayer funds, but it is made even more egregious in light of CPS’s self-declared financial crisis," Cleveland said in his complaint.

Claypool later went off on Gov. Rauner and Illinois Republicans during a press conference Wednesday afternoon over the lack of a state budget and the withholding of state funds for education that he says holds Chicago schoolchildren hostage.

“Just like President Trump, Gov. Rauner, when he doesn’t like the facts, changes the facts to an alternative universe - alternative facts - and when other people try to tell the truth, he engages in bully tactics to try to silence those who are telling the truth,” Claypool said at CPS headquarters.

The governor’s office says it still hopes to work with Chicago Public Schools on a fair school funding formula.

You can read the full letter from Forrest Claypool to CPS students' parents below.

 

Page 1 of the letter sent home to all CPS students

Page 1 of the letter sent home to all CPS students

Page 2 of letter sent home to all CPS students

Page 2 of letter sent home to all CPS students