Mayor again asks pastors for support on school issues

August 21, 2012

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(AP/File)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is again asking religious leaders to support the changes he’s making at Chicago Public Schools.

Hundreds of pastors from across the city gathered inside Greater Harvest Church on the South Side this morning for a back-to-school prayer breakfast.

Many of them have been allies in Emanuel’s education agenda

Emanuel thanked the faith leaders for helping make the longer school day a reality, something he asked them to preach in favor of last year.

He said he wants them to continue helping advance his agenda this year, but stopped short of recommending a sermon for Sunday.

“I may speak from the podium and you may speak from the pulpit, but if we’re headed in the same direction, we will get there all that much faster,” Emanuel said.

The mayor took heat last year when news broke that some pastors were paying people to support school closings and expansion of charter schools.

An ally and former campaign manager for Emanuel acknowledged giving money to some churches.

CPS also doles out millions of dollars to churches and faith-based groups for summer and after-school programs each year.