Rahm Emanuel Clashes With Teachers Again

Plans To Close Dozens of Schools Angers Unions

By Reuters

Published November 03, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is headed for another clash in coming months with unionized teachers over whether to close dozens of schools, after a bitter teachers strike temporarily shut down the nation’s third largest public school district in September.

Facing a Dec. 1 deadline to issue a proposed list of schools to be closed, new Chicago Public Schools chief executive Barbara Byrd-Bennett on Friday asked the state legislature for a four-month delay until March 31.

She said time was needed for a “rigorous, transparent and open dialogue” with school parents, teachers and other.

Feelings are still raw after the first Chicago teachers strike in 25 years drew national attention to the city’s dispute over education reform.

Chicago teachers and some parents complain that Emanuel’s administration has ignored their concerns.

Chicago has seen a 20 percent surge in the number of murders this year, and people in crime ravaged neighborhoods worry that closing schools might force students to cross gang boundaries and increase urban violence.

More than 200 people, including teachers union members, parents of Chicago school students and other activists, rallied against school closings at Emanuel’s office on Friday, and some staged a sit-in nearby.

Urban school districts around the country are grappling with the same issue of closing schools, including Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Washington, according to a study last year on school closings by the Pew Charitable Trust.

In a statement on Friday, Byrd-Bennett acknowledged the delay was requested to repair a rift with some in the community.

“Our goal is to give the community the respect they deserve in this process, rebuild trust with CPS (Chicago Public Schools) and create a path for right-sizing our district,” she said.

But the union said it wants a halt to school closing rather than extending the deadline.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.