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Vallas Releases New Ad Showcasing President Clinton’s Support for Candidate’s Record Leading CPS

Ad Shows Footage from 1999 State of the Union Address

The Vallas for Mayor campaign is releasing a new television ad highlighting the mayoral candidate’s record of improving public education while he served as Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools, complete with an authoritative source who saw the progress being made and praised it publicly in real time — President Bill Clinton. The ad shows footage from President Clinton’s 1999 State of the Union address, where he singled out CPS for praise as a national model for public education under Vallas’ leadership.

The ad is available here:

“At the time I was asked to lead our school district our children were being failed, but with the hard work of our entire dedicated team we turned it around and made Chicago Public Schools into a national model for excellence,” said Vallas. “Now, our schools are struggling again with declining enrollment, falling test scores and in many cases unsafe conditions. As Mayor, I will make schools part of the solution to both higher academic achievement and a safer community, and drive more decisions and resources into the hands of those closest to our kids. Because their safety and success is our safety and success.”

During Paul’s tenure as CEO of Chicago Public Schools, he presided over six years of labor peace with no strikes and balanced six budgets. Other Vallas education accomplishments include:

  • Addressed severe school overcrowding of critical facilities in dilapidated old school buildings and warehouses by building 15 new schools and renovating and expanding over 150 more

  • Opened 15 International Baccalaureate programs in neighborhood high schools throughout the city

  • Did not close a single school in the 558 school district

  • Left CPS with 6 straight years of improved academic performance, 12 bond rating upgrades, almost $1 billion in cash balances, and a fully funded teacher retirement system

  • Prioritized minority contracting and employment that allocated 50% of a $3 billion school construction program to minority and women-owned businesses

  • Opened the then-largest after school, summer school and early childhood programs in the country

  • Grew enrollment by over 33,000 in a district that in the 15 years prior to Paul’s arrival had suffered a 110,000 student decline

  • Increased the teacher cohort by adding over 2,000 CTU teacher members and selected nearly all leadership from the system’s teacher ranks

  • Negotiated two collective bargaining agreements and two teacher contracts on time and without rancor, which raised teacher salaries by a compounded 21%

  • Created the Children First Fund and raised money in part by using his own honoraria to pay for well over 100 funerals of children who had been the victim of violence

  • Treated CTU leadership as a full and equal partner with full access to district data, financial information and cabinet deliberations

Vallas’ full education plan is available here:

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