'CPS is embarking on the most aggressive effort in the country to dismantle public education in one fell swoop...' SONS coalition launched... Citizens to challenge Board of Education at Wednesday's fraudulent meeting of Rahm's appointees, psychophants

Following months of protests against first the so-called "Commission on School Closings" and of late the hearings held by besuited underlings from the CPS bureaucracy, a growing coalition of citizens will challenge the Board of Education to cease all school closings at the Board's February 27, 2013 meeting. As reported previously at Substance, the Board deliberately packed the so-called "public participation" for the February 27 meeting (cutting off on-line registration by 8:28 a.m. on February 18). The Board has also been manipulating the massive hearings that have been taking place across the city by trying to channel everyone into "focus groups" run by a private contractor and financed with a half million dollar grant from Wal Mart (the "Walton Family Foundation").

The massive protests still taking place are being ignored by both the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education (all appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel) and the "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago Public Schools, Barbara Byrd Bennett (also appointed by Emanuel). Not one member of the Board has attended any of the hearings. Instead, the Board sends surrogates, all in suit and tie, to deceive the parents, students and teachers who have turned out by the thousands against the fraudulent "underutilization crisis" and the equally fraudulent "billion dollar deficit."

According to a press release:

Save Our Neighborhood Schools. Media Alert:

For Immediate Release: February 26, 2013 Contact: Dwayne Truss, (773) 879-5216 (cell); or Valerie F. Leonard, (773) 521-3137

West Side Leaders Fight School Closures on CPS Turf

Who: Save Our Neighborhood Schools (SONS) Coalition has asked West Side elected officials and members of the clergy to close ranks and fight against massive school closures on Chicago's West Side. The SONS Coalition is comprised of local neighborhood organizations, schools, parents, students and engaged individuals who are interested in staving off Chicago Public Schools' efforts to destroy public education as we know it. Members include local school council (LSC) members, educators, No Child Left Behind (NLCB) parents, ministers, and community stakeholders. Organizational members include Action Now, Chicago-Westside Branch NAACP, Blocks Together, the Lawndale Alliance, PACE, and Raise Your Hand for Illinois Education.

What: SONS will be holding a press conference immediately prior to the CPS board meeting. The press conference will provide an opportunity for a number of community stakeholders from the Austin, East and West Garfield Park, Humboldt Park and North Lawndale communities to refute CPS' manufactured utilization crisis and to support neighborhood schools.

When: Wednesday, February 27, 2013

SONS Press Conference-9:00 am; CPS Board meeting- 10:30 am

Where: CPS Headquarters, 125 South Clark, Chicago, IL

Why: CPS is embarking on the most aggressive effort in the country to dismantle public education in one fell swoop. The district could close as many as 129 public schools by the end of the year, with plans to open up to 60 additional charter schools over the next few years. The West Side will be particularly hard hit, with the North Lawndale slated to lose 50% of its elementary schools. Massive closure of public schools combined with the rapid expansion of charter schools could be detrimental for all stakeholders involved. Communities lose valuable anchors and safe havens. School violence, student mobility and dropout rates have increased as a result of past school actions. The de-stabilizing effects could last for years to come. " CEO Bennett's only consistent accomplishment is closing schools. Look at what she did to Detroit and Cleveland, exclaimed Carolina Gaete, Executive Director of Blocks Together. ”CPS is being run by people who have no loyalty to Chicago's children, let alone public education. It is a conflict of interest for Barbara Byrd Bennett to be on the Eli Broad Foundation's (a prominent charter school supporter) payroll and the CEO of Chicago Public Schools". Gaete also asked "Why is the Mayor closing schools before completing the 10 year Master Facilities plan and developing a transition plan for students of closed schools?

Dissatisfied with CPS' lack of answers, SONS is demanding a meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett. They are also demanding that there be no school actions or turnarounds. "CPS has given new meaning to "made in America", said Valerie. F. Leonard of the Lawndale Alliance. "This crisis was manufactured and decisions are being made based on incorrect and incomplete financial, enrollment and utilization data. For the past 6 months CPS has said they faced a budget deficit of a billion dollars, and school enrollment is dropping. We have since learned that CPS had a $344 million windfall at the end of the last school year, and enrollment had actually increased by 1,000 students over the prior year."


February 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM

By: Valerie F.Leonard

Thank You, Again, George

Thanks for sharing this alert on your website,George!

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