Battle to win real equity and justice for students and Chicago neighborhoods is just beginning.
CHICAGO, June 24—The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement this afternoon in response to the vote by a majority of Mayor Lightfoot’s hand-picked board of education to keep police officers in schools. That vote today—for now—allows Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to forgo spending the funds for that $33 million CPD contract on COVID-19 protections and student needs in public schools:
“Mayoral control of our schools has been an unmitigated disaster. Our mayor has called the global movement to protect Black lives a hashtag. So when the mayor defied popular calls to remove cops from our public schools, few of us held out hope that any board of education she had hand picked would defy her. Rubber stamp boards of education have quite the history in Chicago—including their regular defiance of basic democracy or the will of the people.”
“Chicago’s rubber stamp school board voted to close fifty Black public schools over passionate public opposition. Board members appointed by the mayor sat by and watched while the CPS CEO dismantled special education programs. The mayor’s appointed board has presided over racist school funding schemes like ‘student-based budgeting’, even as the board continues to maintain a racist school quality rating system.
“As a counterpoint to this failure of leadership, our Black youth and organizers have shown enormous courage, self-determination, leadership and clarity of purpose in this struggle. They have certainly shown more courage and clarity than Chicago’s top elected official and her hand-picked board of education—and they have no intention of backing down from this critical struggle for real democracy, equity and justice for Chicago.
“Because the people of this city once again had no voice today, we say—as we have said for years—give Chicagoans what they’ve overwhelmingly voted for twice: an elected, representative school board. It’s long past time for #ERSBnow! The struggle to remove police from public schools in Chicago is just beginning—and as parents, educators and neighborhood residents, we will carry on that struggle until we win real equity and justice for our students and our communities.”