CPS Protest Recap: Meh.
Nasty budget cuts on the Chicago Public School system has left full-day kindergarten and pre-school, among other things, in jeopardy. This is on the heels of salary increases in the administration.
Tell me, with home prices sinking and every bit of retail on sale does ANYONE need a raise? Please. Even gas is cheap right now. An outrage, right?
Thirteen million people live in Illinois, half of which are in the greater Chicago area. With the number of people these budget cuts affect there should have been a bullhorn on every corner this morning, right? Thousands of angry parents and their children, plucked from classrooms that run 40-deep, waving signs and being heard outside the state building today was the scene at the scheduled CPS rally. . . right?
A weary few hundred, mainly minorities, urban hippies and gawkers puttered around Randolph street. The rally was scheduled from 9:00 - 10:30 AM and right on cue, the crowd thinned to an exhausted handful at a hair to eleven. If it weren't for the debris and exactly two card tables manned by message criers, you might not have known we had been there at all.
There is a misconception that this is a minority issue. Rich white folks go to private school and soar above the concerns of the great unwashed. Wrong. Guess what: as public pre-school gets cut, private pre-schools will be squeezed and tuition will go up. When it comes time for grade school, more parents will struggle to make the leap to private school, which will in turn raise tuition and admission standards. While the very poor will be stuck in the underfunded schools, more and more of the middle class will rely on private institutions to educate their children or worse: they will be forced out.
Chicago has one of the highest tax rates in the country. We shouldn't have to run to private school or leave our community to become a dichotomy of the too poor to care vs. rich enough not to have to.
Let's keep our community strong and diverse and fight for public schools!