Angry about the newest development in school closings, hundreds of parents, teachers and supporters gathered in Chicago to protest what they feel are injustices in education.
The plan to close 54 Chicago Public Schools was met with criticism of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s efforts to keep the schools open. But he commented that he’s done negotiating and the closings are essentially a done deal.
According to the Associated Press:
Emanuel and schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett say the nation’s third-largest district must close dozens of schools because CPS faces a $1 billion budget shortfall and has too many schools that are half-empty and failing academically.
But Chicago communities aren’t having it.
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis called the closings “injustices” and said lawsuits are planned.
“There are many ways that you can show that this is not over,” Lewis told the protesters, whose march filled the street and stretched a full city block. “On the first day of school you show up at your real school. Don’t let these people take your school.”
The protestors responded, chanting “Save our Schools” and calling for Emanuel’s ouster. More than 100 people, who had planned to be arrested, sat down and blocked the downtown streets. Police eventually cleared them from the area and issued citations.
But Emanuel isn’t budging.
“Keeping open a school that is falling short year-in and year-out means we haven’t done what we are responsible for; not what our parents did for us and what we owe every child in the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said.
The schools are set to close at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, but with the way the community is standing up, that might soon change.
Looks like Chicago is telling Emanuel that they are NOT about that messing with education life!