Venezuela, Chicago Public Schools face toilet paper shortages

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Photo: Getty Images/Leo Ramirez, Getty Images/Steven Errico, AP/Rex Arbogast

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Photo: Getty Images/Leo Ramirez, Getty Images/Steven Errico, AP/Rex Arbogast

In addition to grossly inefficient, top-down bureaucracies and chronic budget deficits, the public schools in Chicago and the country of Venezuela apparently have something else in common: a toilet paper shortage.

In socialist Venezuela last week, a state agency that enforces price controls temporarily took over a toilet paper factory on Friday in response to nagging supply shortages this year, reports Reuters.

“The action in the producer of toilet paper, sanitary napkins and disposable diapers responds to the state’s obligation to ensure a steady supply of basic goods for the people,” the agency, Sundecop, said. Bureaucrats added that the scarcity is a “violation of the right” to obtain such goods.

Supporters of the government criticized crooked businessmen for hoarding toilet paper.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Alderman Nicholas Sposato held a toilet paper drive to collect toilet tissue for financially troubled schools last week, reports WLS-TV.

The alderman now says he has enough toilet paper to last all of his Northwest Side ward’s overcrowded public schools a year— generic rolls as well as plush name brands.

“Schools’ budgets were cut drastically and I wanted to help out. So instead of school supplies, we figured toilet paper,” Sposato told WLS, wearing a bright red Chicago Teachers Union t-shirt.

Parents were happy, at least about the toilet paper drive.

“Obviously the school board isn’t providing so it’s a good deal that the alderman at least came up with an idea,” parent Jim Ignatowski told the ABC station.

“All of our public schools in this ward are fantastic and yet they get absolutely no support from CPS,” another parent, Kerry Murphy, added. “We know there’s money there because it’s being handed out but none of it is making its way to our school.”

In a statement, Alderman Sposato observed that five elementary schools and a high school in his ward had seen some $3 million in cuts.

To thank the community members for the contributions, Sposato threw a barbecue at his ward office on Thursday.

In May, the Chicago Board of Education voted to shutter 49 elementary schools. (RELATED: It’s official: Chicago Public Schools will close 49 elementary schools)

The school closings are the centerpiece in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s long-term plan to close the $1 billion budget deficit currently facing the city.

Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union and an ardent critic of Mayor Emanuel, has repeatedly promised to force the mayor out of office over the school closings. The union also filed a number of lawsuits, none of which has succeeded.

In an email obtained by The Daily Caller, Lewis swore that her side will eventually win the war by way of the ballot box.

“We must resist this neoliberal savagery masquerading as school reform,” the labor leader wrote. “We must resist racism in all of its forms as well as the escalating attacks on the working-class and the poor.”

Lewis charged in a scathing speech at the upscale City Club of Chicago that racism and “rich white people” are to blame for the financial crisis facing the Chicago Public Schools. (RELATED: Chicago teachers union chief faults ‘rich white people’)

Follow Eric on Twitter and send education-related story tips to erico@dailycaller.com.
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