This year, Mayor 1% announced plans to subject 10 Chicago public schools to the “turnaround” program, where by the entire staff and administration of schools deemed to be “failing” are fired in a flagrant disregard of democratic decision-making. For six of those schools, the turnaround process will be managed by a private entity, the Academy for Urban School Leadership. Parents and teachers have reported that turnarounds destabilize schools and communities and have not been proven to increase the quality of education. Yet, Mayor 1% continues to claim that he is acting in the best interest of the students. It is clear to us that his actions are meant to further his agenda of privatization and union busting, not support quality education.
Parents from these schools have attended school hearings to present compelling evidence that neighborhood schools should be left in the hands of the community. Despite all of their efforts, parents and teachers have been ridiculed by members of the Board of Education and ignored by the Mayor.
On Wednesday February 22nd, the Board of Education will make the final vote on the proposed school actions. As a result, the parents, teachers, and communities who will be affected by the school closures and turnarounds are left with no choice but to take direct action.
On Friday, February 17th, at 10:30am, parents from Casals Elementary and Piccolo Elementary, two of the schools on the turnaround list, will hold a press conference at the Mayor’s Office, 5th Fl.
On Monday, February 20th at 4:00pm, all those affected by school closings and turnarounds will be rallying together at Lake View High School, 4015 N. Ashland Ave.
Every day we hear about our brothers, sisters, and family around the world fighting back against austerity measures. In Chicago, the global fight back is expressed most sharply in the struggle to protect public education from union-busting, privatization, turnarounds, and school closures. The outcome of the education struggle in Chicago will have ramifications for other public services and unions in our city and across the country.
As a movement sparked by our anger against corporate greed and our frustration with elected officials who have no regard for the well-being of the 99%, Occupy Chicago endorses current and future nonviolent actions carried out by parents & teachers in 2012 to stop school closures and turnarounds.
Let’s tell Mayor Emanuel:
SUPPORT OUR SCHOOLS
Don’t shut them down!
For information on school closings, go to ctunet.com/closings.