|Students arrive for school at Garrett A. Morgan Elementary, only to find out their school is being closed.|
"You know, schools are community anchors. They're social centers. They're part of a community's identity. The closings are going to take place almost entirely within the African-American community, and given the problems we already have with violence, I think it's very problematic." -- County Board President Toni PreckwinkleMake no mistake. This is a crime against the community. 54 schools and 61 buildings closed, left to blight already neglected black and Latino neighborhoods. More than 30,000 children of color, many with special needs, uprooted and put in harm's way. Pink slips for more that 1,000 of Chicago's finest teachers.
Posed as a saving to tax payers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Chicago high school teacher, Jay Rehak, makes the case in this excellent blog post, "The Importance of Half-Filled Schools."
...every school that is closed adds to the blight and destabilization of a neighborhood... Each time we abandon or shutter a school, we are marring our communal landscape and inviting further social decline. It is imperative that CPS and the Civic Leaders of Chicago recognize that what the money they believe they are “saving” is actually promoting further economic decline that is far more costly to residents of Chicago. Those who do not believe me need only ask business owners whose storefronts abut vacant businesses.All this carried out by a mayor, currently hiding out in the mountains of Utah, his conspiracy against his own city hatched in the paneled offices of the billionaires boys club called the Civic Committee. There, I've snitched.
The only question now is, whether the citizens of Chicago will stand up, band together, and take back their schools and their communities. And by citizens, I mean the citizens in each and every ward, whether their schools were closed or spared this time around. We are the ones who are all going to pay the social and economic cost for this calamity.