CPS boycott called for next Wednesday

August 22, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Parents, students, teachers could boycott next Wednesday, the same day as the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Many students will be attending new schools after the district closed nearly 50 underutilized schools. A group of parents and community activists will be calling for a boycott of classes for one day next week.

They're calling it a citywide "education a human right," a day to protest and boycott the school district over not only the school closures, but also budget cuts made by schools that are still open. The group plans to outline its plans Thursday for a rally and march next Wednesday.

The announcement comes as the district continues to get ready for the first day of classes. Safe Passage workers continue their training, and the Chicago Tribune is reporting that central office workers are helping with the process of getting the buildings ready for students. The district tells the paper that work is voluntary.

"We demand an elected school board and that the TIF money be put back into our schools where they rightfully belong," said Michelle Young, Action Now president.

"Despite their failure, Mayor Rahm Emanuel continues to shut down schools in our community, ignoring the voices of the people whose lives are turned upside down by the policy," said Parrish Brown, Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization.

CPS released a statement Thursday in response to the boycott repeating that the district is "faced with a historic billion-dollar deficit driven by a lack of meaningful pension reform in Springfield," and that on "the third day in this new academic year, we hope all CPS students will be in their classrooms preparing to become the new generation of leaders."

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