With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Friday, February 12, 2010

The mayor feigns neutrality on LSCs

The Meeks bill would gut Local School Councils (LSCs) and promote vouchers. Mayor Daley has been trying to get rid of the LSCs since 1995. Rev. Meeks, whose southside Salem Baptist Church has about 25,000 members, led a failed, but valiant community-based effort for adequate public school funding two years ago, without any support from the mayor. Now that Sen. Meeks is doing the heavy lifting in the legislature, Daley claims neutrality and can stay above the fray. He says school reform in Chicago started the day he took over the schools.
“If you want to go back to prior to 1995, then go back. I will never go back. This school system has changed and is getting better. I don’t care what anyone says.
And therein lies the problem.

Daley's people over at CPS are quietly supporting Meeks' initiative, even though his push for vouchers implies a devastating failure on their part and on the part of the mayor.
CPS officials Wednesday seemed intrigued by the bill. CPS spokeswoman Monique Bond called Meeks "a champion of school reform'' and said "we look forward to reviewing the legislation.'' (Sun-Times)
But in 2008, Meeks led a school boycott on opening day which was attacked by both Daley and schools chief Arne Duncan. Daley was also sharply critical Meeks for a schools funding protest he led at a Cubs game. But their interests now find common ground over the issue of getting rid of LSCs. Meeks' push for vouchers is also being hailed by the Catholic Archdiocese.

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