School closings.

Author:Vogt, Leonard
Position:News for Educational Workers

An epidemic of school closings in Chicago, New York, Detroit, Washington, Sacramento, Baltimore, Birmingham, and St. Louis reported this spring has been answered with protests throughout the country. Students, teachers, parents and activists are making the point that the savings from closed schools is minimal and the transfer of money to charter schools rarely leads to improved academics. Since most students affected by these closures are students of color, protesters see these closings as a civil rights violation (The Nation May 5, 2013).

The Chicago school closings are the largest in U. S. history, eliminating 49 public schools and displacing 40,000 students. Diane Ravitch feels that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is punishing the teachers' union for their strike last fall by opening up more charter schools staffed by non-union teachers (, May 23, 2013). Although Emanuel's Chicago Public Schools district says these closings must happen to resolve the $1 billion deficit, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis says, "Enough with the lies and public deception. School closings will not save money and taxpayers will not see costs benefits in two years. Why? Because vibrant school communities will be quickly transformed...

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