WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump, who regularly punches Chicago over its inability to curb violent crime, opened a new front against the city on Tuesday, taking a shot at public schools.
“If you look at so many elements of education, and it’s so sad to see what’s coming — what’s happening in the country. Even the numbers, as good — you say we’re doing better, but the numbers in New York, the numbers in Chicago are very rough. The numbers in Los Angeles — the cities — it’s a very rough situation,” Trump said.
Trump did not offer any more details on what “numbers” he was referencing. He remarked on crime and education in Chicago and other cities during a morning event billed as a “CEO Town Hall.”
The president warmed up his pitch against Chicago when he was asked a New York City oriented question from one of the executives at the event.
“I think from New York’s point of view, we send a lot of money into the economy. As a number of people have said, it’s over a trillion dollars. We’re worried we’re going to have a problem with Congress …with…
Trump interrupted, “With the deductions, right?”
To which the questioner replied, “That too. But we’re worried about various programs that help the city. The city’s doing fine right now, even the Yankees are doing fine. But what we’re really concerned about is the future. Do you have any advice for us?”
Trump focused on city’s taking on debt in his answer.
“Well, look, I love New York, and you know, in some ways we’re all lucky that I’m from New York because New York has unique problems, so does Los Angeles, so does Chicago. You know, there are places that have unique problems.
“One of the problems that you have is debt and deductibility. …..
“So it’s a very big problem and the problem I have is that there are many places throughout the country that are the exact opposite position and they consider that a gift to the state and a gift to the people and we know New York does things that a lot of people don’t read about. You know, you look at what — the money that they contribute to our economy, to our country and people don’t know about that. They don’t maybe want to know about that.
Trump then took a question about schools and the “workforce of the future,” with the questioner noting that “in New York City alone, our high school — public high school graduation rate is at 70 percent, but the readiness of our students for college and careers is only 37 — is assessed at 37 percent.”
Trump was asked about his “priorities” and replied with his broadside that the “numbers in Chicago are very rough.”
Trump in his reply said, “I mean, we have to bring education more local. We can’t be managing education from Washington. When I go out to Iowa, when I go out to the different states and I talk, they want to run their school programs locally. And they’ll do a much better job than somebody — and look, these are some very good people in Washington.
“But you also have bureaucrats that make a lot of money and don’t really care that much about what they’re doing or about the community that they have never seen and they’ll never meet and they never will see. And I like the fact of getting rid of common — you know common core to me is we have to end it. We have to bring education local. To me, I’ve always said it. I’ve been saying it during the campaign.”
Trump’s Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, is a champion of charter schools. It is not know whether this new hit against Chicago schools will become part of Trump’s repertoire.