CPS School Closings

Tearisa Lindley, Staff writer

Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Emanuel Discussing the Welcome Home G.I. Bill – Photo by Office of United States Rep. Rahm Emanuel

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will hold 22 meetings to let parents’ makes their decisions to keep their neighborhood schools open. According to the City Council Board they plan to close 54 schools this summer. Teachers, Parents, ministers and community organizers were led down town at the Daley Plaza. The rally ended by the CPS Headquarters.

President Lewis spoke at the rally, saying, “Let’s not pretend that when you close schools on the South and West sides that the children who will be affected are black. Let’s not pretend that’s not racist. They are closing down schools that have names of African-American icons. But he’ll open up schools to put the name of a living billionaire on the front.”

Rahm Emanuel defends his claim, saying, “Improvements to the schools have been delayed for years due to politics. Keeping a school that is falling short year in and year out, meaning we haven’t done what we are responsible, not what our parents did for us, and what we owe every child in the city of Chicago,” He also said “the teachers union has been in the loop throughout the process.”

Jainiqua Byrd, a fourth-grade student from Paderewski Elementary School, states, “I don’t want to leave the school because that school is important to me. It’s like a family school to me.” According to the Raw Story, a study from the University of Chicago, out of 38 schools closed in 2001 to 2006, about 6 percent of students who moved went to a high performing school. Darlene Williams, a concerned parent, also said, “I feel our children won’t be safe because they’re crossing boundaries.”
If teachers know that the board will close schools, they should find a second job, and therefore they will not have to worry about school closing. Students who do not want their school to close should start a petition or a protest as to why they do not want their school to close. According to Chicago Teachers Union, Clemente High School will be closing. This is the school that I graduated from two years ago. If I would have known this I would have gone to support my school.