Today, February 13th, 2013, Barbara Byrd-Bennett released another revision of the mayor’s Hit List, targeting 129 schools for closure next year. This unprecedented attack targets only schools in Black and Latino neighborhoods—especially the ones in which resources are few. Over the years, charter schools have blanketed these same neighborhoods with marketing materials full of false promises to lure families. In an unsurprising move, every single politically-connected charter school once called “underutilized” has been cleared from the Hit List. All this amidst the growing scandal over UNO charter school patronage.
Not every CTU member’s school is on the Hit List—but the entire system of public schools in which every one of us works is targeted. In order to save it, we must insist that
EVERY TARGETED SCHOOL MUST REMAIN OPEN.
CPS is currently holding “community hearings” underwritten by the Walton Family Foundation (Wal-Mart) to sell these school closings to the public. The public is not buying what the saboteurs and privatizers are selling. Thousands of parents, teachers and community members have attended these meetings to save our schools from closing. Click here to see a video. These parents aren't letting themselves be pitted against one another. They aren't begging for just their own schools to be spared, but are banding together to save ALL neighborhood public schools.
Teachers must join our parents, students and community members. Pledge to attend a community meeting by clicking the button below.
In an effort to justify their assault on our schools, the mayor and his schools CEO have tried to mislead the public with irrelevant and misdirectional statistics about school enrollment. They have continued the CPS habit of presenting doomsday budget PowerPoints that later prove absolutely false. They have expanded privatized charter schools while claiming to have “too many seats” to serve all students well.
According to Byrd-Bennett’s own hand-picked closings commission, CPS does not have the capacity to close so many schools without exponentially increasing the chaos that ten years of privatization have already unleashed on the system. Our researchers, using CPS’s own data have demonstrated the racist effect of closings and privatization on our district. Community activists have even testified in Washington over the related civil rights issues.
View this short video for CTU member Tara Stamps’ call for unity.
Click the image above or this link to view the video.
CTU members, parents, clergy, and community-based, grassroots organizations have organized summits, knocked on doors, visited El stops and phoned elected officials in an attempt to stop school closings and ensure neighborhood schools get the resources they need.
In addition, several aldermen have called on the City Council for a moratorium on charter expansion. This resolution needs your help.
Contact City Council Rules Committee to insist this resolution be heard.
Parents, students and community are standing up for our schools. We need YOU to stand with them.