Will the CTU finally begin supporting Chicago's outspoken principal and go factual against privatization?... LaRaviere, Arena and Ritter to speak at LSC 'rally' Thursday, May 12, at Schurz High School...

The 45th Ward alderman is sponsoring the event called a "Citywide Rally" for May 12, 2016. One of the speakers will be Troy LaRaviere, who is under attack from CPS officials and Mayor Rahm Emanuel for his forceful and public criticism of CPS privatization and charter expansion policies. What looks like a simple meeting organized by the local alderman and featuring some of the best informed people in Chicago to discuss the current state of things in the city's public schools may turn into more than that. On Thursday, May 12, 2016, 45th Ward Alderman John Arena has invited local school council members to Schurz High School (Addison and Milwaukee) to discuss current events. The other two featured speakers will be Martin Ritter (and organizer for the Chicago Teachers Union) and Troy LaRaviere, the outspoken principal of Blaine Elementary School (currently not at Blaine because of the attempt by CPS officials to silence him).

Will the event take place as advertised -- or will CPS officials again try to refuse to allow LaRavier access to a public school building?

The event, which has been announced throughout the city and which is expected to draw hundreds of public school supporters, including LSC members, will take place beginning at five in the afternoon at Schurz. It is being called a "citywide rally."

Since he was ordered to leave Blaine Elementary School (where he had recently been rehired as principal by the school's LSC), LaRaviere has continued his forceful and well researched critique of CPS policies and the privatization agenda pushed by those appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Within the past week, LaRaviere has been on WGN TV to expose the corrupt expansion of the engineering and custodial privatization of the city's public schools (viz., the hiring of Magic Johnson's SODEXO- MAGIC to take over the schools' engineering and custodial work) and the failure of the city's massive charter schools sub-system.

At the same time, others across the city have been asking why the faction of the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union currently in control of the union has stopped being precise about these same privatization issues -- and why the CTU has not only refused to support LaRaviere, but has continued trying to purge its own ranks of militants who demand a strong union contract and less emphasis on corrupt "community partnerships." With CTU teacher members expecting to pay more than $1,100 in union dues from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, teachers are also asking how their money is being spent to win back the union's full collective bargaining rights (in Springfield), win a strong and lucrative contract in Chicago, and then enforce the contract with strong union representation - through the field reps -- in the schools.

The May 12 rally may help clarify some of those issues. The first question will be whether CPS security officials -- who have failed to reduce the expanding gang violence in the schools this Spring -- will be standing (like George Wallace) in the school house door to block LaRaviere when he arrived with 45th Ward Alderman John Arena.


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