Rev. Jackson: School Closings Undemocratic
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Opponents of Chicago school closures are vowing to fight on, but they appear to have little chance of reversing the mayor’s agenda, unless a federal judge steps in, reports WBBM’s Mike Krauser.
The planned closure of fifty Chicago schools was on the agenda at today’s meeting of the Rainbow-Push Coalition.
Reverend Jesse Jackson said, “school closing is too vast, too divisive, too dangerous and happening too quickly.”
“They’re closing schools, he said, without offering a place at the table for those with a real stake in the issue. “So we have imposed upon us a process that is ultimately undemocratic.”
Brandon Johnson is with the Chicago Teachers Union.
“What we find most disconcerting, is that black parents in particular, have overwhelmingly rejected the mayor’s plan. He has decided to draw a line in the sand and refused to negotiate with the parents,” said Johnson.
There are a couple of avenues opponents of the closures have at their disposal. One is a federal civil rights lawsuit. Another is a school closings moratorium bill in Springfield.
But State representative Will Davis says it appears to be going nowhere. He says, “Unfortunately the speaker of the house will not allow it to be heard, not even in committee, not even a subject matter hearing on the issue. He has made it very clear to us that he supports the mayor.”
Alderman Latasha Thomas says people can’t stop fighting, saying, “We all have to stand up and do something. We shouldn’t have our children pay with their lives or be scared crossing gang territories.”