(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) State Sen. Willie Preston, D-Ill., demanded that an investigation be conducted of the state and federal funding Chicago Public Schools received after a report revealed that very few students in the system are proficient in math and reading.
Not a single student can do math at grade level in 53 #Illinois schools. For reading, it’s 30 schools. Not 1 single student. Education data from @ISBEnews
It's yet another indictment of the state’s educational system. Via @Wirepointshttps://t.co/rMZlnHjcgK #twill #SchoolChoice… https://t.co/IEbaxctIoo pic.twitter.com/meKyUDo7sk
— Wirepoints (@Wirepoints) February 14, 2023
According to Breitbart, CPS took in $9.4 billion in state funding in 2023 and $1.8 billion from the American Rescue Plan, as noted on Fox Business Network’s Big Money Show. Preston was asked about the massive amounts of funding and where the money went if not to assist the students.
Preston did not have a definite answer, but did advocate for the opening of an investigation into the matter.
“I think that what we should do is we should investigate where those dollars went,” he explained. “Not investigate those dollars just to put people in a bad situation, but to improve the problems. So, again, I think that it’s something we should do.”
He said that the extreme learning loss is likely due to Chicago Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s COVID policies.
“I believe this is something that is a byproduct of some of our policies that we were taking during COVID,” Preston said. “This is a very serious issue and one that as a father and as a lawmaker, I’m going to be addressing feverishly.”
Despite the catastrophic learning loss across the nation due to mishandled COVID lockdowns, the authors of the report point out that Chicago Public School test scores were not much better in 2019 than they are currently.
“Defenders of the current system are sure to invoke [COVID] as the big reason for the low scores, but a look at the 2019 numbers show that the reading and math numbers were only slightly better than they are now,” they wrote.
Preston insisted that the issue could not be teachers, but is likely also due to poverty and homelessness within the city.
“I think there’s more that we can glean from this is what I’m getting at,” Preston said. “We have to figure out why. Is it just the teachers? I think if it’s just the teachers, then we have an issue, but I don’t think that’s the case here. This is stemming from a larger issue in Chicago overall.”