Chicago Public Schools have laid off thousands of employees and teachers in the latest rounds of a massive restructuring. The restructuring has closed 50 schools and affected an estimated 46,000 children—the overwhelming majority of whom were Black. Black teachers have also been hit hardest by the restructuring.
My latest for report for EBONY: "Black Teachers Hit Hardest by Chicago School Layoffs":
Only 29 percent of the teaching force in Chicago is African American, compared to 45 percent in 1995, according to the Chicago Teachers Union. At least "43 percent of those [teachers] laid off," have been Black according to a 2011 analysis of Illinois State Board of Education data reported by In These Times.
"We have seen a huge downward trend in the number of Black teachers at CPS. It is a very serious problem,” Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis tells EBONY.com. "Entire faculties are fired and must reapply for positions in turnarounds. These situations have been extremely challenging on Black middle-aged faculty members who often have advanced degrees and seniority."
The layoffs in the Chicago schools have followed similar public sector layoffs nationwide and across Chicago—fueling "a shrinking Black middle class" in a city that has been hit hard by unemployment, poverty, foreclosures and gun violence.
Read the full report HERE.
The article is part of EBONY's new series "ENOUGH" which examines life for Chicago's Black youth.