Absolutely Amazing

 (Tribune photo by David Trotman-Wilkins / September 2, 2008) Gloria Chester of Chicago chants her support for Rev. James Meeks with fellow supporters of school finance reform at the Save Our Schools Now rally at Harms Woods, in Glenview.

(Tribune photo by David Trotman-Wilkins / September 2, 2008) Gloria Chester of Chicago chants her support for Rev. James Meeks with fellow supporters of school finance reform at the "Save Our Schools Now" rally at Harms Woods, in Glenview.

Nearly 1,000 Chicago Public School students piled into 30 buses with parents and teachers to protest funding disparities by enrolling at a suburban school district only an hour away. They were greeted with open arms and refreshments on the first day of school. How amazing to see this kind of clever, well-organized protest over a problematic source of educational funding – local property taxes.

“In a funding system largely fueled by local property taxes, New Trier Township spent nearly $17,000 per student in 2005-06 and Sunset Ridge spent about $16,000, while Chicago Public Schools spent an estimated $10,400 per student.

Of course, decent funding is not enough, but it’s a damn good help – especially when you have a community organized to fight for it.  The critics’, Daley’s, and governor’s reaction to what they may call a debacle?

“Critics charged the symbolic, well-orchestrated protest shortchanged students of a day’s education and Chicago Public Schools of more than $100,000 in potential reimbursement from the state. Daley on Tuesday described the boycott as “very selfish.” Gov. Rod Blagojevich said students “should not be used as political pawns.”‘

Oh please. One day of civil action is worth a year of schooling in their underfunded schools. Since when was asking for justice selfish? Sigh…

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/content/education/chi-meeks-boycott-schools-websep04,0,6496470.story?page=1

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