The fallout from the Bush Great Recession continues, as cash strapped states and cities try to dig out from the mess Wall Street left us.
Chicago is taking a bulldozer to public education, treating it like a "business" and not a public good. Even schools that have recently been updated and doing well are closing. 54 schools are closing, 1,000 long time dedicated teachers are getting pink slips, and the parents of 30,000 kids have to help the children deal with the disruption of changing classmates in new neighborhoods.
Here's Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis with a few choice words:
Chicago Tribune: Outside Mahalia Jackson Elementary School in the Auburn-Gresham community, Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis called the decision “racist” and “classist.” “Our mayor, who’s away on a ski trip, drops this information right before spring break,” she wondered. “This is cowardly and it’s the ultimate bullying job. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, you should be ashamed of yourself. We will not allow them to wreak havoc on our schools and our city, this will not be Detroit. This will not save money, it will cost money, and it’s going to leave abandoned buildings, which is another recipe for disaster.”
Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett herself was not on a conference call Thursday with local and national reporters. Mayor Rahm Emanuel remained out of town, skiing with his family in Utah.
Chicago Public Schools on Thursday announced the largest school shakeup in the nation: closing 54 schools and 61 buildings, jostling 30,000 kids and giving pink slips to more than 1,000 teachers. Most of the targeted schools are in the city’s black and poorest communities on the West and South sides. But the list also shocked a group of parents and teachers of five schools that had been considered safe from closing.
Takeeva Thompson, (who) has been a lunchlady for seven years, (said) “We need to save these children and save these schools. This is our future, and removing these schools…we are either giving them a gun or a book, and it’s up to us.”