Wednesday, January 28, 2009

From the Southwest Youth Collaborative & ERC

Join us in support of strong public education for all.

Join SWYC and the Education Rights Coalition Wednesday, January 28th at 3:30pm in front of Chicago's Board of Education, 125 South Clark, to protest the Board's vote to close more schools and further privatize the Chicago Public School (CPS) system.

We will be supporting parents and students of the communities affected by these closings.

The Education Rights Coalition and Southwest Youth Collaborative are working alongside numerous community organizations, parents, and students city-wide to protest this attack on Public Education. Approximately 20 closings, turnarounds, phase-outs, and consolidations will be announced tomorrow at the CPS offices downtown.

The Education Rights Coalition believes that free, public, and equitable education is not a choice but a human right. Additionally, parents, community members, and students should have a voice in what happens to their school and to their neighborhoods, and therefore we advocate for all schools in CPS to:

· Have parent and community voice in its decision making by supporting LSCs.
· Have curriculum and teachers that respect the history of the students
· Have a safe environment in which the dignity of the child is respected
· Stop punishing its students and communities for CPS' failure to improve education in the city
· Stop the privatization and crippling of public schools through charters, contract and other for-profit schools

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As the city's Renaissance 2010 initiative continues to dismantle the public school system by taking away the rights of parents, decreasing the power of Local School Councils, and closing down neighborhood schools, alarming numbers of youth are being pushed out of school and finding themselves mired in poverty and without a handle on consistent, quality education. On the Southwest side, our community has seen a substantial increase in the amount of youth displaced by gentrification, and the lack of school system consistency and shortage of jobs has lead many to rely on illegal means for survival.

We are asking CPS to stop closing down schools and be accountable to the communities, parents, and youth who make up the public school system and demand better for their neighborhood schools. It is time we assert our right to decision-making processes affecting the education of our children, youth, and families!

Please join us in standing up against this attack on public education.

SWYC and the Education Rights Coalition will also be holding an open meeting on February 6th at 4:30 at the Amandla Center, 6400 S. Kedzie to discuss Renaissance 2010 and how it affects the rights of parents and students of our neighborhood and their access to quality education.

On Tuesday, February 10 at 6pm, there will be a discussion on public education featuring Deborah Meier, Michael Klonsky, Jose Rico, and Kenneth Saltman at DePaul University Cortelyou Commons, 2324 N. Fremont St. For info, contact Nicole Ruiz at 773-325-1663.

Thank you.

For more info on the Education Rights Coalition, visit the ERC Website.

About the Southwest Youth Collaborative

The Southwest Youth Collaborative is a community-based network of youth and community development organizations working together on the southwest side of Chicago. Our mission is to work with youth from diverse racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds to unleash their potential to become successful and actively contributing members of society.

In addition to our community organizing efforts, we offer comprehensive youth services including: educational services, workforce development, sports & health, technology training, research & leadership development, and arts & cultural programming. Visit for more info.

You can also support our work by donating online at, or mailing a tax-deductible donation to:

Southwest Youth Collaborative
c/o Florence Johnson
6400 S. Kedzie Avenue
Chicago, IL 60629

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