Mayor Emanuel rolls out education plan for next 4 years; candidates respond

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CHICAGO — Mayor Emanuel saying his education plan moves the ball forward, toward producing CPS graduates that will be able to compete in the workforce, but those trying to take his job say voters need to pay attention to his past track record.

At an invite-only event, teachers, parents, and advocates listened, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel rolled-out his education plan for the next four years.

It’s a plan he plans to implement if he wins a second term in office.

“The arrow is finally pointing in the right direction and this is not by happenstance. These measures are the result of more than 20k teachers, more than 600 principals and countless thousands of parents,” Mayor Emanuel said.

It’s been a year-and-a-half since the mayor closed 50 Chicago public schools, he is redirecting the focus on rising graduation rates and improving test scores.

“Three years ago, 40% were dropping out in three years’ time, 80% will be graduating and that’s a testament to all the work that’s being done across the city of Chicago,” the mayor said/

Over the next for years, the mayor says he wants to focus on creating better neighborhood schools, expanding pre-k programs, and empowering parents and school leaders.

Emanuel’s plan already coming under attack—being accused of putting profits over people to the detriment of Chicago’s students.

Jackson Potter, Bright Futures Coalition said “Rahm Emanuel has not, I repeat, he has not increased access to pre-k contrary to his many claims.”

Mayoral candidate and county commissioner, Jesus Chuy Garcia, also criticizing the Emanuel’s education plan, during the opening of his northside campaign office.

“I haven’t seen it. We know he closed the schools. We know he polarized the city. We know that the impact of the school closures are devastating many communities. Many people are angry about it,” Garcia said.

Alderman Bob Fioretti, also on February’s ballot for mayor, had strong words for the mayor:

“He may say we need to put education first, but his actions in the last four years – closing 50 public schools to favor charters, gambling with our tax dollars on Wall Street, and slashing much needed resources from struggling neighborhood schools – say something different.”

The pool of candidates is narrowing, for Chicago mayor.

On Thursday we learned former Chicago police officer, Frederick Collins dropped out of the race, leaving behind five candidates to pick from in February.

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