Chicago Closing More Public Schools

February 5, 2009

In January the Chicago School Board announced a plan for closing some schools and "reorganizing" others.

Under the plan, 15 schools will be shut down and 6 schools will be "reinvented," that is, all the teachers will be fired and the school will be turned over to a private operator.

These latest closures are a part of the city's continuing program of underfunding and privatizing the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The CPS is already in the middle of its "Renaissance 2010" plan which is shutting down or reorganizing 100 schools, many of which will be turned into charter schools run by private corporations or the military.

The government is playing a most cynical game to undermine and dismantle the public schools. After first running the public schools into the ground through lack of investment, the government then condemns the public schools, citing their poor physical condition and poor performance on standardized tests and so on as an excuse to privatize the educational system. This privatization drains funds from the public schools while providing new sources of profit for the capitalists. Privatization also intensifies the dual school system under which a small number of children get a high quality education while the majority of the working class and minority students are left in underfunded schools.

The people must put a stop to the underfunding and privatization of the public schools. The way forward is to demand that the government make all the investments needed to thoroughly modernize the schools and provide the best possible education for everyone.