No Miracle-Gro. The Sun-Times reports on a UIC study debunking the myth of a public school “miracle” in Chicago. Findings point to a “two-tier” system where the gap between white and minority students has grown in recent years. The study says one solution might be an elected rather than appointed school board.
Perilous pension primer. The New York Times business section takes a long look at the roots and the realities of Illinois’ pension crisis as the state tries to sell pension bonds to a market that’s deeply concerned about the state’s ability to repay the debt and keep the pension system afloat. A must-read.
Cheeze whizzes. Also in The New York Times, a story about Democratic lawmakers from Wisconsin taking refuge in Illinois to avoid having to vote on a Republican-backed budget-cutting and union-neutering plan that has public employees up in arms. At least the cheese-is-lators didn’t fly to Vegas.
Justice delayed? In the Trib, a story about the incredible backlog of 4,000 rape kits at the Illinois crime lab, which won’t be able to conduct DNA tests on all of them until 2015, despite a new state law mandating testing within six months. How do you spell d-i-l-e-m-m-a?
Social network. One more Trib story worth reading: cash-strapped social service agencies in Illinois are caught in a political squeeze as Gov. Pat Quinn proposes cuts in their reimbursements at the same time he is asking lawmakers to approve a multi-billion dollar borrowing plan to pay a backlog of overdue bills to those agencies and other service providers. Chess anyone?