Education activists from Chicago and other U.S. cities will rally outside the first 2016 presidential debate later this month in Hempstead, New York in hopes that the candidates will embrace their seven-point public education policy agenda.
Many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students encounter hostile school environments and face "harsh and exclusionary disciplinary policies" that may effectively push them out of school and possibly into the criminal and juvenile justice systems.
"Findings from this report demonstrate that, for many LGBTQ students, schools are hostile environments that effectively function to push students out of school, depriving them of the opportunity to learn," the report reads. "When LGBTQ students feel less safe, less comfortable, and less welcome in schools, they are less likely to attend and more likely to drop out.
Last week, the Illinois Senate passed legislation that would reform school discipline policies. Progress Illinois takes a look at the pending bill, now under consideration in the Illinois House, and the problems it aims to address.
"The futures of African-American girls are on the line," stressed NWLC's Co-President Marcia Greenberger. "It’s shameful that too many girls are falling between the cracks of an educational system that ignores their real needs. A strong education is essential for people in our country to compete in our economy and earn wages that can support themselves and their families. It's critical to turn this crisis around and put these girls on a path to success."
About 100 members of the Chicago Students Unionand their allies marched in support of an elected school board and adequate neighborhood school funding during a downtown protest Monday afternoon. Progress Illinois was there for the demonstration.
The Chicago Board of Education unanimously approved the school district's controversial $5.8 billion spending plan for the 2015 fiscal year that cuts the budgets of traditional neighborhood schools and boosts funding for charters. Progress Illinois provides highlights from today's board of ed meeting.