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Elected Officials Say, “Enough Is Enough” To School Closings

Illinois legislators and other elected officials representing the Englewood community are holding a news conference to voice their outrage over the announced school closings in their respective districts Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 9 a.m., City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., 2nd Fl.

Senator Collins says the closings are a continuation of the city’s failed school reform experiment at the expense of black children starting with Renaissance 2010. “As representatives of this community we are unified in our position that closing four neighborhood high schools simultaneously in Englewood is unacceptable,” states Collins, who represents the 16th District. “We cannot sit back and allow our young people to be treated like pawns in the scheme to privatize public education.”

Standing with Collins will be 17th Ward Ald. David Moore, 31st District state Rep. Mary Flowers, 3rd District state Sen. Mattie Hunter and 6th District state Rep. Sonya Harper. All are asking the community, city residents and other elected officials to join them in stopping this ongoing destabilization of a community that is suffering from decades of disinvestment in its people and infrastructure.

“Englewood children are entitled to a quality and safe education just like any other child in the city of Chicago. In eliminating all Englewood high schools, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is endangering our children. Our empty schools will be protected with heating and lighting, but our children are not; they are forced to go unprotected, which includes crossing gang territories,” says Rep. Flowers. “They will be forced to walk in the cold and in the dark. Harassing poor people is one thing, harassing their children is another. Enough is enough!

Ald. Moore, who ran against the massive public school closings on the city’s South and West sides says, "CPS's intentions should be aligned with the residents who will be impacted want for their community."

“This is more than a blow to the education of our city’s most vulnerable children, it is a direct attack on the livelihood of black communities across the city of Chicago. West Englewood and Englewood already struggle with the highest rates of unemployment, crime, food insecurity and a lack of affordable housing for families. Closing down our four public high schools will only add to that instability," adds Rep. Harper.

“As legislators, this is a slap in the face,” explains Senator Hunter. “The mayor’s office and Chicago Public Schools did not involve us in these conversations. We’ve worked extremely hard in Springfield to bring resources back to Chicago to educate our children. This governor has made a clear attempt to limit the resources we send to Chicago, and we’ve done our best to save our students. Now to decide to close our schools, after all we have done for CPS, without involving us is arrogant, disrespectful and unacceptable. Our children deserve better than this!”

The elected officials say they are prepared to do whatever it takes to stop this travesty against Englewood students. For more information and interview request, contact Delmarie Cobb at 773-373-3860.

Keywords: Alderman David Moore, Chicago Public High Schools, Mattie Hunter, Senator Jacqueline Collins, Sonya Harper

Posted in Federal Government, City of Chicago, Community Highlights