Rahm Emanuel isn’t “going to throw money” at the 25% of kids he’s decided are hopeless? What a snake he is. Everyone should read the entire transcript:
JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, I’d like to ask Karen Lewis, the school closings are a huge problem in Chicago, as well as New York and around the country. I understand that there’s a hearing today in the state legislature in Illinois around this issue of school closings. What is that hearing about, and what are you planning to do with your union to continue to defend the community schools?
KAREN LEWIS: Well, we have been working with a variety of community organizations and parents in order to develop language that would have a moratorium on these policies. I mean, this has not been studied, practiced, to see how well it works. And we’re getting so much conflicting information about the efficacy. So we are sponsoring bills that will actually force CPS to be infinitely more transparent. I mean, the issue about this is, they were required by a state law from last year that—because we tried to get a moratorium last year, and the requirement for the state law said that they had to involve parents in the decision-making process. And basically, what they did was say, “Here’s the decision. You comment on it. Thank you very much. And we’re going to do what we want to do, because as far as our mayor is concerned, about 100,000 children in this system don’t really matter.” So we’ve had a lot of issue with how to approach this, so we’ve done the legislative route. We’re also looking at the possibility of working with some local school councils on the legal front in terms of a lawsuit.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And Karen Lewis, could you clarify, when you say 100,000 schoolchildren don’t really matter? You recently spoke out publicly about some comments that the mayor made to you in a private meeting?
KAREN LEWIS: Mm-hmm, yes.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Could you—what was that?
KAREN LEWIS: Yes. When I first met him, we had dinner together, and he said, “Well, you know, 25 percent of these kids are never going to be anything. They’re never going to amount to anything. And I’m not throwing money at it.” And I was like, “Wow! You know, even if you believe that, you can’t say that to me.” So, I just watch how he has used black and brown and poor children as props to push an agenda that is all about privatization and all about so-called accountability, but it’s really the status quo, because once schools get put on probation here in Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools takes over, takes away the democratically controlled local school councils, takes that power away from them to hire and fire and evaluate principals and to spend discretionary funds. So, we see this cultur of punishment and culture of disinvestment, and it is rampant and obviously spreading throughout the country.