The West Side leg of the Chicago Teachers Union's (CTU) three-day march against school closings saw dozens of parents, teachers and education activists blocking
traffic throughout the area's streets Monday, chanting “Save Our Schools!”
“We are marching to keep our schools open,” said
Jesse Sharkey, vice president of the CTU, at the launch of Monday’s
West Side march at Elizabeth Peabody Elementary School, at 1444 West August Blvd.
Peabody is one of 54 schools slated for closure under a CPS proposal to shutter, consolidate and turnaround a record-breaking number of schools at the end of this school year. The district says it is attempting to address a $1 billion deficit and “utilization
crisis” of more than 100,000 empty seats. The proposed plan has incited massive protests and outrage throughout Chicago.
“If some of
these schools don’t come off the closure list, there’s going to be a ton
of outrage and moral indignation from people all across the city,” said
Sharkey in an interview with Progress Illinois. “But how do you do get
your point across to a board that doesn’t really listen? This thing is
being driven by the mayor, and the mayor doesn’t care.”
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