Betsy DeVos loves Paul Vallas!

March 30, 2023


Wednesday March 29, 2023

Contact: Cassie Creswell, Illinois Families for Public Schools, 716-536-9313



CHICAGO –  Last week ex-President Trump’s former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made a $59,000 independent expenditure in support of mayoral candidate Paul Vallas’ campaign from a Super PAC she funds, the Illinois Federation for Children PAC.

The Illinois Federation for Children PAC was established in March 2022 and has received $465,000 in total from DeVos’ American Federation for Children Action Fund, a national 527 PAC. The Illinois Federation PAC’s chair, Nathan Hoffman, was a registered contract lobbyist in Springfield for the American Federation for Children until January this year. 

Although DeVos has not endorsed Vallas, Vallas’ education plans for Chicago’s school system are directly aligned with the DeVos agenda of school privatization, one she supported as Secretary of Education and promotes through her national network of advocacy organizations and PACs: defunding and dismantling public school systems and redirecting public funds via programs like vouchers to private schools.  

In February 2022, in an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune, Vallas laid out a radical plan for privatizing Chicago Public Schools (CPS). In addition to supporting Illinois’ existing Invest in Kids tax credit scholarship voucher program, which already pays for vouchers for more than 4000 Chicago children, Vallas would create a city-funded voucher program and pay for it with funds from the CPS operating budget earmarked for teacher pensions. Vallas says the pension payments could then instead be covered by surplus Tax Increment Financing dollars. 

In that same op-ed, Vallas also proposes allowing religious private schools to become district-funded charter (or “contract”) schools, a policy so extreme that it was recently rejected by the conservative Republican attorney general of Oklahoma as  “state-funded religion.” 

Vallas voices his support for “a reconstituted system in which parents get to direct the per-pupil public dollars to the school (or education model) of their choosing.” More recently, Vallas told WBEZ that “money should follow the students” and “we should be running districts of schools, not school districts.” The education platform on Vallas’ website calls for “dismantling the central administration” of CPS. 

These are exactly the policy goals that DeVos and American Federation for Children are advocating for: “fund students not systems” and “dollars must follow students.”

In June 2022, Vallas appeared on a panel with keynote speaker Corey DeAngelis, senior fellow at American Federation for Children. The panel was organized by extremist anti-LGBTQ+ parent group, Awake Illinois. Vallas later denounced Awake Illinois, but did not dissociate himself from DeAngelis or American Federation for Children.

As Secretary of Education, DeVos’ education policies were harmful to public schools on a national scale. Chicago voters should know that DeVos supports Vallas’ candidacy, and that there is no daylight between DeVos and Vallas’ education agendas.


Educators for Brandon

March 25, 2023

Episode # 69

March 22, 2023

Mike Klonsky sez:

March 22, 2023

With two weeks to go until election day and both candidates running neck-and-neck with a big undecided, Chicago mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson finally offered up some light in an otherwise dreary, all-about-policingTV debate with school privatizer, Paul Vallas.

It happened when Johnson was asked whether teachers should be blamed for steep declines in math test scores among Black and Latino students that occurred during the pandemic. A question that should have answered itself.

Johnson’s response:

“You’re asking me whether or not we should hold teachers responsible for poverty? … We have 20,000 students who are homeless. The vast majority of our students are living in poverty. If we’re not addressing the living conditions and the working conditions of our communities, then we’re not serious about improving the lives of our children.”

“A standardized test that has roots in eugenics to prove the inferiority of Black people should not be the measurement. … Thirty-five percent of families on the North Side of Chicago make $100,000-a-year or more. Half of the West Siders and South Siders make less than $25,000 a year. That is the way we improve public education. By improving the lives of people who are raising children.”

Isn’t it odd that the debate moderators never suggest that teachers should be credited with those scores being high in the first place? Scoundrels like Vallas, who never taught a day in their lives, like to credit themselves for math score gains.

More cops … Fewer cops … More detectives … Bring back old retired cops… What has all this got to do with violence prevention? Not much.

Up to that point, the moderators’ questions were all about cops, cops, and more cops with the unstated assumption being that the city’s escalating rate of crime and violence during the heart of the pandemic, was all about policing or the lack thereof. There was hardly a mention of concentrated poverty or the easy flow of guns into the city.

Jim Mellen, PRESENTE!!

March 18, 2023


March 15, 2023

Julian Assange’s father and brother, John and Gabriel Shipton, will be in Chicago from Wednesday, April 5th to Friday April 7th. Press release and flyer are attached.

The commercial screening of the documentary movie ithaka is at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Wrigleyville. The screening theatre is not very large but we still have seats left. It is important we have a full house to show that Chicago supports the campaign to free Julian Assange.

Trailer Buy tickets

Peace and solidarity,

Frank Lawrence

Chicago Area Peace Action



March 15, 2023

Episode # 68 UNDER the TREE

March 8, 2023

From Dungeons to Revolutionary Focos

March 8, 2023


March 8, 2023


Bread And Roses

As we go marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: Bread and Roses! Bread and Roses!
As we go marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women’s children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses.
As we go marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses too.
As we go marching, marching, we bring the greater days,
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and roses, bread and roses.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; bread and roses, bread and roses.