Chicago Public Schools has issued a call for new charter schools only months after what has been described as "the largest shakeup ever attempted in one year by a major urban school district." The nation’s third-largest school district has closed 50 schools in a restructuring that affected an estimated 46,000 children—most of whom were Black.
My latest for EBONY: "Chicago Public Schools Call for New Charter Schools Despite Closures and Budget Cuts"
The charters would be located in largely white and Latino neighborhoods. The school closures that the district approved in May were described as largely "poorly performing schools in African-American neighborhoods on the South and West sides where enrollment has sagged in recent years," reported the Chicago Tribune.
Nearly 90 percent of the students in the schools targeted for closure were Black, EBONY.com reported in March. This contrasts to citywide data where only 42 percent of CPS students are Black.
"This is definitely a race and class issue. We [did] not see these closures in communities that are not Black," Wanda Hopkins, education coordinator of the South Austin Coalition Community Council, told EBONY.com. The Austin neighborhood on the city’s West Side was among "the communities that [experienced] the most closings," reported Catalyst, the city’s well-respected journal on urban education. Austin is also among the city’s "most violent neighborhoods" and hard-hit by gangs and gun violence.
"Our children have been suffering for decades. If we had a $1 billion deficit, where [did] they get the money to do this?"
Read the full report HERE.
The article is part of EBONY's new series "ENOUGH" which examines life for Chicago's Black youth.