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The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) today announced that as the city braces itself for the largest assault on public education in the country, thousands of parents, students, teachers, clergy, citizens and community leaders are preparing for a march against school closings on May 18, 19 and 20 Many of the neighborhoods along the South and West side routes that marchers will travel already have been adversely affected by rising crime during Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s first term, in addition to the long-term impact of massive home and business foreclosures and steady unemployment. Mass school closings will further decimate and destabilize these minority communities.

"The devastation that the neighborhood schools faced came long before the latest list of school closures came down the pipeline," said CTU President Karen Lewis in a press conference at Mayo Elementary, a South Side school slated for closure.

Click here to sign up for this historic march!

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) today announced that as the city braces itself for the largest assault on public education in the country, thousands of parents, students, teachers, clergy, citizens and community leaders are preparing for a march against school closings on May 18, 19 and 20 Many of the neighborhoods along the South and West side routes that marchers will travel already have been adversely affected by rising crime during Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s first term, in addition to the long-term impact of massive home and business foreclosures and steady unemployment. Mass school closings will further decimate and destabilize these minority communities.

"The devastation that the neighborhood schools faced came long before the latest list of school closures came down the pipeline," said CTU President Karen Lewis in a press conference at Mayo Elementary, a South Side school slated for closure.

Click here to sign up for this historic march!

The 30-plus mile march is themed, “Our City. Our Schools. Our Voice,” and will include simultaneous routes from the West and South sides of the city. Protestors intend to walk each day past many of the 54 school communities slated for closure and their efforts will culminate in a mass demonstration in Daley Plaza. It is sponsored by the CTU, the Grassroots Education Movement, SEIU Local 1, Unite Here Local 1 and Chicago PEACE, an interdenominational coalition of clergy leaders from across the city. Donations are pouring in from across the country.

“Despite the testimony of thousands of parents, teachers and people who work and living in the school communities impacted, Rahm Emanuel is dedicated to entering the history books as having destroyed the most public schools in one year than anyone in history,” Lewis said. “He refuses to listen to independent judges, law enforcement officials, educators, researchers and the students themselves. We have no choice but to use power of organizing to engage in what will be a long fight to restore sanity to our school district.”

The march kicks off at 10:00 a.m. on May 18 on the South Side at Jesse Owens Elementary School, 12450 S. State St., and on the near West Side at Jean de Lafayette Elementary School, 2714 W. Augusta Blvd.

“School closings hurt children academically and the mayor’s plan will also put thousands of students’ safety at risk and many public school employees may lose their jobs,” Lewis said. “We must do whatever is necessary to stop this assault on the working class and the poor. In the midst of getting angry, we must organize. We want to tell Emanuel, the Board, the school CEO and their corporate sponsors that this is our city, these are our schools and we will use our voice to fight for justice.”

The mayor’s hand-picked Chicago Board of Education will vote on school closings on Wednesday, May 22. Shortly thereafter, a massive voter registration drive will commence throughout the city.

Click here to sign up for this historic march!

Press Conference Announcing 3 Day March

Originally posted to Tristero 312 on Tue May 14, 2013 at 08:41 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    "Your conspiracy theories won't work without evidence." -Nasir Jones

    by Tristero 312 on Tue May 14, 2013 at 08:41:40 AM PDT

  •  Surely you have an answer how financially strapped (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doc2, PatriciaVa

    Chicago will deal with the loss of 100,000 public school students and half or completely empty schools.

    Fiscal reality has settled on Chicago, deal with it.

    •  You lost? (0+ / 0-)

      "Deal with it."

      Really?

      •  What's ur Proposal? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doc2

        The reality is that property taxes nationwide have increased as a percentage of property value.

        Are Chicago teachers asking the working and middle-class residents pay a higher tax rate on their property?

        Mostel, it's easy to argue against school closings as a teacher.

        It's much more difficult to put forth a plan to avoid school closings.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

        by PatriciaVa on Tue May 14, 2013 at 09:28:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  if they just let all the schools stay open, (0+ / 0-)

      God will provide a miracle. That's the plan (apparently).

    •  School closings don't save money (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David Kaib, gardengn0me

      In fact closing schools in DC cost the school system $40 million. This is not a fiscal issue. Last year when Chicago Public Schools announced a shortfall it was a lie. The budget ended up having a surplus. Furthermore, if CPS is strapped why is it making such an effort to open more charter schools, which can cost more to run depending on what model they're following (KIPP). Finally, the 100,000 figure is inflated -- it includes all children 0-18, not just school age children. Please stop automatically accepting CPS and Mayor Emanuel propaganda.

    •  If the problem is empty schools (0+ / 0-)

      the city should should stop building new schools.

      Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story.

      Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. Notes on a Theory

      by David Kaib on Thu May 16, 2013 at 12:06:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not just Chicago and it's not just the US. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Mostel26

    The global 1% want to collect rents by privatizating public education from kindergarten through university. They're doing it in Greece, in Mexico; all around the world. It's classic Shock Doctrine and the fools and tools who aid this campaign should be ashamed of themselves.

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Tue May 14, 2013 at 10:02:32 AM PDT

  •  I am a resident of Chicago (0+ / 0-)

    and I am deeply opposed to closing the schools, for the following reasons:

    1) It will put Chicago children in grave danger by forcing to walk long distances through rival gang territories. This is not hyperbole; if this plan goes through, the mayor and school board will have blood on their hands soon enough.

    2) It will do nothing to improve education for Chicago's children. CPS is the most mismanaged educational boondoggle you can imagine, with incompetent administrators being paid six figure salaries to enforce unworkable and/or debunked reforms and then don't even have the patience to see the outcome before they jump on the bandwagon of the next hot reform.

    3) Closing schools will not save the district money. They say they need to close the schools to plug a budget hole, and that the school closures will save $560 million over the next decade. But preparing the receiving schools for all the incoming students will cost the district roughly $230 million immediately. Also, apparently CPS wants to give iPads to students grades 3-8 who are moving schools. That's roughly 9 million dollars that according to CPS' "math" could save several schools. And don't even get me started about the millions of dollars of TIF money the city gives away to developers and the mayor's wealthy friends.

    There is plenty of money in Chicago. It's just not going to our kids.

    What the students of Chicago need are the same things Rahm Emanuel's kids get at their private school: Small classes, a rich curriculum, strong support services, and a library.

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