CTU: Emanuel has imposed separate and unequal educational policies on the backs of our schoolchildren in defiance of Brown v. Board of Education.
CHICAGO, IL — CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey issued the following statement today on the anniversary of the historic Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education ruling:
“64 years ago today, the Supreme Court declared segregation in public education to be ‘inherently unequal’. Yet while Brown opened the door for generations of legal and social challenges to de facto racism in our public schools, in Chicago we still struggle with a school system that is profoundly separate and unequal. And the man who controls our schools and appoints their rulers – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel – has escalated the inequality in our public education system.
“To Emanuel’s hand-picked school bureaucrats, our Black and Brown schoolchildren are inconvenient entries in an accounting ledger who deserve to be policed rather than educated – and at as little cost as possible. The infamous Willis wagons may be gone, but our overwhelmingly non-white, low-income students work from schoolbooks that are tattered and out of date, in schools that are filthy. Three-quarters of those schools lack libraries – and librarians. Our students are denied services to which they have a legal right, from special education supports to school nurses and social workers.
“To Emanuel, our Black and Brown students’ parents are a pesky impediment to gentrification schemes that are purging working class families of color from our city. He has hardened the lines of segregation by expanding magnet and selective enrollment schools, undermining the right that every community has to sustainable neighborhood public schools. He treats children as little more than a test score to advance his re-election campaigns, rather than as human beings with rights and dignity. He has snuffed out thriving school communities in Black and Brown neighborhoods over the righteous objections of parents and students, and shunted those students to the control of private charter operators who put the size of their paychecks over the needs of their students. He has purged Black educators from our schools – particularly veteran Black female educators deeply committed to the communities they serve. And he has insisted on maintaining a racist school funding formula that reinforces inequality instead of equitably funding our children’s needs as the state’s school funding formula demands.
“For the last seven years, Emanuel has imposed apartheid-like, separate and unequal educational policies on the backs of our schoolchildren and their families – in defiance of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling more than six decades ago. He may publicly criticize Trump and Rauner, but his actions dovetail perfectly with their racist agendas – and reinforce in our schools what Brown v. Board of Education sought to overturn. It’s time for Chicagoans to reject this racist inequality and give our residents what they have demanded for years: the right to democratically elect our school board rather than suffer under the tyranny of a mayor who reinforces our children’s bondage and thwarts their opportunities.”