March 15, 2015 9:49 am

NPE Endorses Chuy Garcia for Mayor of Chicago

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Chuy Garcia Endorsement ImageNPE Board President, Diane Ravitch says, “Chuy Garcia is a real reformer. His reforms will restore democracy in education; will restore true education–not test scores–as the center of school life; and prioritize the needs of children, not data.”

Network for Public Education endorses Chuy Garcia for Mayor of Chicago, and asks you to support him in any way you can — by voting for him, volunteering in the next few weeks or donating to his campaign.

Lewis and Brown Endorse Garcia

Chuy Garcia is a champion for public education. Chicago Teacher’s Union President Karen Lewis believes Garcia should be the next mayor.

Garcia has also won the confidence of Chicago community organizer, Journey for Justice National Director, and NPE Board Member Jitu Brown. Brown said, “Families throughout the city of Chicago are not just concerned with Rahm Emanuel’s style. His policies, including but not limited to education, have hurt families. Children are in overcrowded classrooms and school climates have been ruined as receiving schools struggle to make the failed policy of closing schools work. Chuy Garcia is a consistent, community minded leader who will listen and build Chicago with the people. He will support sustainable community schools, not failed, corporate education interventions.”

It’s easy to see why Garcia has the support of iconic Chicago leaders like Karen Lewis and Jitu Brown. He clearly understands what the people of Chicago have endured as a result of Emanuel’s failed privatization agenda.

In Garcia’s Own Words:

Last year CPS slashed the budget and closed 50 schools, claiming closures will reduce the $1 billion debt, however they have not provided any proof of savings. And here’s Alice-in-Wonderland part: Mad Hatter Emanuel now wants to open 22 new charters, some in areas where he closed schools because of “underutilization.” These will cost Chicagoans $225 million over the next decade.

Why all the new charters? Because they are the new coin of political patronage. A glaring example is the UNO group, until recently led by Juan Rangel, who was forced out after exposes of cronyism and corruption in its charter network. UNO received more than $100 million in state money and Rangel, who earned $260,000 a year, was a co-chair of Emanuel’s mayoral campaign at the same time that UNO personnel worked against Emanuel’s critics in local political campaigns.

Please, take a few minutes to read Garcia’s entire education platform, but here is a synopsis.

My program involves giving the school system back to the people through an elected school board; reducing to the barest legal minimum the plethora of high-stakes, standardized tests by which we falsely judge schools, students, and teachers; placing a moratorium on further charter schools; expanding public education to include pre-kindergarten and even earlier; and reducing class size, which is one of the largest in the state.

Garcia Needs Your Support

Rahm Emanuel has brought the privatization movement to Chicago, and corporate money is flowing into his race. In the primary Emanuel outspent Chuy Garcia 11 to 1, and it is certain that he will outspend him in the general election as well. The latest poll shows that Emanuel has a double digit lead since he started airing non-stop ads, financed by his Hollywood and hedge fund pals. Despite how friendly he looks and sounds in those ads, Emanuel is no friend to students, teachers and Chicago’s working families.

Garcia on the other hand is a genuine supporter of public education. “If Chicagoans elect him, it will send a signal to the entire nation that the bold and misguided effort to privatize our public schools has failed, and that the people of Chicago intend to reclaim public education to its true purpose: equal opportunity for all the city’s children to learn and succeed,” said Ravitch.

When NPE decided to endorse candidates we promised we would support candidates who support public education. We don’t have the money to compete with the billionaires, but as Diane says, there is power in our numbers!  

We hope our endorsement, and the endorsement of Chicago leaders Karen Lewis and Jitu Brown, will persuade parents, students and teachers to get out and VOTE. This election will be tight and your vote will really make a difference.

If you live in Chicago, please vote for Chuy Garcia, and do everything you can to support his campaign and get out the vote.