Activists call for CPS boycott Wednesday
BY LAUREN FITZPATRICK Education Reporter August 22, 2013 6:20PM
At City Hall on Thursday, Jitu Brown (left), of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, and Parrish Brown, a senior at Dyett High School and the group's youth leader, call for a boycott of Chicago Public Schools on Aug. 28, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. | Lauren FitzPatrick~Sun-Times
Updated: September 24, 2013 6:24AM
Community activists are calling for a boycott of Chicago Public Schools next Wednesday.
About 50 activists at City Hall on Thursday urged parents to keep kids home from school to show CPS that education is a human right and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
The boycott is part of a national effort of community groups in 25 cities to protest school closings and budget cuts.
Dyett High School senior Parrish Brown, whose school is phasing out a grade at a time, said he’ll boycott “CPS and the appointed rubber-stamp school board” to show his support of an elected school board.
“We will have a citywide expression of rage next Wednesday and appoint every person of voting age toward a solution for our suffering — an elected school board in the city of Chicago,” Brown said. “To sabotage Dyett and negatively impact the education of me and my peers is a violation of our human rights. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, you are violating our human rights.”
The activists encouraged parents and students to show up at 125 S. Clark at 10 a.m. Wednesday, the same day the Board of Education is slated to vote on the fiscal year 2014 budget that cuts a total of $68 million from classrooms in an effort to close a budget gap. The board already voted in May to close a record 49 elementary schools, mostly on the South and West sides, and a high school program.
CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett released a statement repeating that the district’s financial crisis is “driven by a lack of meaningful pension reform in Springfield,” and touting central spending cuts.
“On Wednesday, Aug. 28, the third day of school in this new academic year, we hope all CPS students will be in their classrooms preparing to become the new generation of leaders,” she wrote.