Thursday, March 26, 2009

800 pack Chicago board meeting

I missed Wednesday's board meeting wish I had been in town for it. 800 people packed the meeting as the protests continue to mount against Mayor Daley's disastrous Renaissance 2010 school-closings.

According to Sun-Times ed reporter Roz Rossi:
School Board members Wednesday unanimously approved plans to place 12 mostly new schools into 11 half-occupied or closed buildings — a proposal that drew an even larger crowd than last month’s vote on school closings. Once again, spectators blasted the board’s public hearing process.
Board members continued to thumb their nose at the crowd by reportedly not letting any community members ask questions and then by voting to double their own monthly receipt-free expense allowances, to $24,000 a year for board members and $36,000 a year for the board president. Why the need for such an enlarged slush fund, especially in the midst of this crisis and budget cuts? Here's Daley's hand-picked board members. You figure it out:
  • Roxanne Ward is Vice President and Corporate Liaison of Ariel Investments.
  • Norman R. Bobins is Chairman Emeritus of LaSalle Bank Corporation.
  • Tariq Butt, a wealthy doctor.
  • Peggy Davis, V.P. at Exelon Corp.
  • Alberto A. Carrero, Jr. Senior Vice President at Banco Popular.
  • Clair Munana, international consultant
  • Board President Michael Scott, a west-side real estate developer


  1. Yesterday March 25th, the Board of Education of CPS voted to finalize the opening of new schools that will replace the schools affected by the closings, consolidations and phase-outs. Unfortunately, only 2 of the 16 are designated as neighborhood schools which means that students will have to apply for a spot to a school where he should have the right to attend without gambling his/her chances in a lottery system. We do not create better schools by firing teachers and displacing communities but by engaging the parents, teachers, students and community members in a fair and dignified manner in order to find solutions.

    However, House Bill 0363 can give a chance for these intransigent decisions to stop and force CPScreate a set of legal standards for carrying out the improvement of schools.

    We are asking you to contact key State Reps during this next week. We have until APRIL 3 to support the bill in the house...and then the Senate.

    Attached are three documents:
    1) The proposed bill, in most recent draft form;
    2) A fact sheet on the bill;
    3) A phone script to use w/ State reps.

    We are asking people to make 4 phone calls (numbers attached in the phone script file except for your rep):

    * Your own state rep;
    * House Speaker Michael Madigan;
    * House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Curry;
    * State Rep Esther Golar

    They will likely be in town this Monday, March 31, so that is the BEST time to call. Please call BEFORE April 3rd!

    IF this bill is passed, it can provide strong leverage and an organizing platform to keep CPS from running over communities, and help us develop a bottom-up, grassroots initiated school improvement and facilities process.

    Please call.

    Laura Ramirez
    Education Rights Coalition Coordinator
    Youth Organizer
    Southwest Youth Collaborative

  2. It's the arrogance of power. Like the Wall Street idiots who took giant bonuses from the bailout money, billionaire Bobins and his Civic Committee cronies on the Board, voted themselves a non-accountable slush fund from monies that could have gone directly into the classroom.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.