The mayor had no trouble getting his hand-picked gaggle of billionaires and their toadies on the school board to unanimously vote for more school closings and turnarounds. But it's become clear that mounting protests have begun to create some space for dissent among the minions. Media coverage of the protests seems to have moved somewhat out of the hands of Rahm's army of highly-paid spinners at CPS.
Latest to join the struggle to stop the closings were two important black, religious community leaders, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Paul Jakes. Both showed up at yesterday's packed school board meeting and each had a lot to say. Jaclson blasted inequities in the school system and a lack of resources. After a string of speakers predicted spikes in violence as students make their way to new schools across gang lines, Jakes said: "The Board of Education needs to work and help pay for some of these funerals that the families will have to go through.
Even the slick-talking J.C. Brizard couldn't escape the ire of the crowd.
Schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard told the crowd that school closings were challenging but necessary, but his remarks that CPS' process was "the most respectful of the community that I've ever seen" brought jeers from the audience.