CTU to mayor: support students’ demands to save NTA, Englewood high schools
Teachers union demands that mayor and allies support students’ appeals at City Council meeting, as hundreds gather to protest plans by Emanuel’s hand-picked school board to shutter South Loop elementary school, four Englewood high schools.
CHICAGO, Jan. 17, 2018—Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey issued the following statement today, as members of Chicago’s public school communities gathered at this month’s City Council meeting. Protesters are demanding that the mayor abandon failed education policies, stop efforts to close NTA and Englewood's public high schools, adequately fund neighborhood public schools, and eliminate corporate giveaways that hurt students, their families and middle and working class residents:
"Our union wholeheartedly supports the struggle of students and families to save their neighborhood public schools. It’s high time that the mayor and his allies stop turning a deaf ear to the impassioned pleas of public school students and their allies, who gathered today at City Hall to demand that Emanuel's handpicked CPS board reject the scheme to close all of Englewood’s public high schools and shutter NTA to accommodate South Loop real estate developers. This comes on the heels of the decision today by Emanuel’s City Council allies to pony up another chunk of taxpayer-funded corporate welfare to Presence Health, with no clear timeline on when communities in need can expect to reap any benefits from this public subsidy -- or what dollars or services will actually be provided to those neighborhoods. These are the same mayoral allies who refuse to support the residents of Black and Brown neighborhoods with civic investment, living wage jobs, affordable housing and equitably funded neighborhood public schools for all of Chicago’s families.
"This mayor consistently puts the agenda of his corporate cronies and political elites ahead of the needs of our students, their families and this city’s hard-working middle and low-income residents. Students and their supporters were right to disrupt today’s City Council meeting – and to demand that this mayor end his racist, classist policies. We know from recently released emails that the attack on NTA has been planned for years as part of a broader effort to purge Black, working class residents from the South Loop, just as Emanuel’s appalling disinvestment polices are purging Black and Brown families from neighborhoods like Englewood and Pilsen. There is a better way forward: invest in sustainable community schools, wrap-around supports and services for Englewood schools – and all our schools - rather than divesting from our disenfranchised neighborhoods and their families."
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The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctunet.com.