Chicago Rally For National Day Of Action To Reclaim The Promise Of Public Education!

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Action Now held a rally with the Chicago Teachers Union and other community and labor groups fighting for education justice, to make a stand against corporate education reform and to let politicians know what our public schools and students REALLY need for the holidays!

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Action Now parent leader Zerlina Smith
We began with a press conference at City Hall where CTU Recording Secretary Michael Brunson and Action Now parent leader Zerlina Smith spoke about public schools needing full funding, a well-rounded curriculum, small class sizes, universal Pre-K, the TIF surplus ordinance and an elected representative school board. They also highlighted the "reforms" that have harmed our public schools and communities: school closings, budget cuts, charter expansion and layoffs.

Zerlina also addressed inequality, stating, "I am sick of living in a city where there is always enough money to build a new high-rise or stadium, but never enough for our schools to the get the basics."

After the speeches, we had Santa and the Grinch deliver coal and candy canes to elected officials, as well as signed holiday cards from each public school listing what schoolchildren need for the holidays!
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Action Now youth leader Allen Richardson
Next we headed to the State of Illinois building to deliver more cards to the Governor as well as unfurl a Christmas List of our demands. Action Now youth leader Allen Richardson from Paul Robeson High School in the Englewood community gave a student's perspective on how to improve public education. He said, "Instead of being offered a diverse curriculum, we are always being overtested. Instead of viewing students as young adults, we are seen as numbers. Students should have a voice in decisions about education and a vote in electing a democratic school board."
Action Now's Executive Director Katelyn Johnson penned a recent blog post about what our schools and communities really need for the holidays: click here to read!

 

Video of highlights from the Day of Action:


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