Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool responds to speakers at a public hearing hosted by the Chicago Board of Education Monday. Credit: Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

  • CPS sues Rauner, Illinois Board of Education over “separate” and “unequal” funding

Chicago Public Schools is suing Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois Board of Education and “alleging that the way the state funds schools violates the civil rights of the minority children who make up nine out of 10 city students,” according to the Sun-Times. The school district says that Illinois has “two separate and demonstrably unequal systems” to fund CPS and the rest of the state’s public schools, which have mostly white students, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday. “The message from the State is that their educations matter less than children in the rest of Illinois, and that is both morally and legally indefensible,” CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said in a statement. [Tribune] [Sun-Times]

  • Rahm presented AG Sessions with a list of ways the feds can help Chicago

Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with attorney general Jeff Sessions in Washington, D.C., Monday and presented him with a “wish list” of ways the federal government can help solve the city’s violence problem. Emanuel’s list included everything from “federal help to bolster police training, supervision equipment and technology to support for mentoring, after-school programs and summer jobs for at-risk youth,” according to the Sun-Times. Sessions reportedly listened to the mayor’s ideas, and while the men don’t necessarily see eye to eye on other issues, they agree that the federal government can do more to help Chicago. [Sun-Times]

  • Illinois senators speak out about Michael Flynn scandal, resignation

Democratic U.S. senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth strongly criticized former National Security adviser Michael Flynn Tuesday. Flynn was forced to resign after it was revealed that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. “By reportedly misleading the Vice President-elect about his collusion with a foreign government to undermine our nation’s foreign policy, General Flynn left himself exposed to blackmail, betrayed our country’s interests and lost the trust of both the Commander-in-Chief and the American people,” Duckworth said in a statement. Durbin said that the public should know about “possibly illegal contacts between the Russian government and the president’s campaign and transition, as well as who else is involved or could be vulnerable to Russian coercion.” Even Republican U.S. rep Adam Kinzinger said that Flynn’s actions were “arguably, or questionably, a crime.” [Sun-Times]

  • Chance the Rapper’s high school years at Jones College Prep

Chance the Rapper has gone from being a student handing out mixtapes at Jones College Prep to a three-time Grammy winner in just a few years. There are some interesting tidbits in DNAinfo Chicago’s feature on Chancelor Bennett’s high school years: his named was spelled “Chance Bernett” once in the 2010-2011 yearbook he was a member of the slam poetry club, and he sometimes rapped in the courtyard between classes. [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • Court hearing in Chicago gives lawyers for Making a Murderer‘s Brendan Dassey hope

Brendan Dassey was just 16 when he confessed to helping his uncle Steven Avery murder Teresa Halbach in Wisconsin. The case was made famous by the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, which brought up questions about Dassey and Avery’s controversial convictions. Dassey’s conviction was overturned in 2016 because his “confession was involuntarily given and unconstitutionally coerced by cops who took advantage of his young age and limited intelligence,” according to the judge. But Dassey has remained in prison because the state of Wisconsin is appealing the decision. The case was argued in Chicago Tuesday; U.S. appellate court judge Ilana Rovner gave Dassey and his attorneys some hope although the court has not yet ruled. “I want you to imagine it is not an average person, but a 16-year-old with a very, very low IQ, who is extremely suggestible,” Rovner told Wisconsin deputy solicitor general Peter Berg about Dassey’s confession. “And I would like you very much to concentrate on the ‘suggestible.'” [Tribune]

  • Drama is brewing over Trump supporter Toby Keith’s Naperville Ribfest appearance

Country singer and outspoken Trump supporter Toby Keith is headlining Naperville Ribfest this summer, and that’s causing controversy in DuPage County. Some residents are threatening to boycott the event, while others are praising organizers for their “courage.” Even former president George W. Bush’s White House press secretary Ari Fleischer and former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod have weighed in on Keith’s right to play Ribfest. [Eater Chicago]