CHICAGO, December 3, 2018—Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey issued the followingtoday in response to a judge’s injunction against CPS’ closure of National Teachers Academy—and CPS’ subsequent announcement that it would no longer pursue closure of the beloved school:
“This is a powerful victory for public school parents, educators, organizers, unionists, and activists. The NTA school community has fought tirelessly against the erasure of their beloved campus. This injunction and CPS’ decision to end its toxic attack on NTA and its students is also a powerful victory for those who’ve challenged the racist, classist character of public school closures in Chicago since Mayor Rahm Emanuel took control of our public school district.
“Closing schools is a failed policy that is devastating to students, families and neighborhoods—including CPS’ current plan to close two charters. Don’t dismantle the school communities we have today—give them and their students the resources and support they need to thrive. School closings in Chicago must end in May when Emanuel’s terrible reign over our schools ends.
“We know the devil is in the details, so we must continue to demand that Emanuel fully restore the NTA school community that he has attacked since 2017. We must also take this court injunction as a signal to continue to fight against racism and class-based dispossession in our city. Emanuel’s systematic uprooting of Black and Brown families from their neighborhood public schools must end with his tenure in May. Finally, stakeholders should not have to starve themselves or hire attorneys to get their voices heard. We must have an elected representative school board. Emanuel’s control over our schools pushed NTA to the brink of dismantlement, just as the mayor has dismantled more than 70 cherished school communities in the last 70 years. That slash and burn assault on our public schools and their neighborhoods must end—and that comes with the accountability, transparency and democracy built into an elected, representative school board.”