Mayor Rahm Emanuel came back from his family skiing trip this weekend
and made his first public comments Saturday about the 54 public school
closings, saying the plan will prevent students from being trapped in
"schools that are not succeeding." The mayor also spoke out against the arguments alleging that the closings,
mostly in minority communities, are racist, according to a WBEZ report.
is very difficult, a lot of anguish, and I understand that and I
appreciate it,” Emanuel said to the press Saturday. “But the anguish and
the pain that comes … from making the change is less, or minimal, in my
view, or pales compared to the anguish that comes by trapping children
in schools that are not succeeding.”
It's estimated that some 30,000
students will be impacted by the Chicago Public Schools announcement
last week that it would shutter 54 schools and turnaround six more.
A total of 128 schools will experience some sort of change as a result of the CPS plan.
About 87 percent of the schools facing action are majority
African-American, according to a WBEZ analysis. Overall 80 percent of students impacted by all the school actions are black; meanwhile, approximately 42 percent of the district's student population is African American.
The Chicago Teachers Union has planned a massive protest pushing back against the actions. The rally is set for for 4 p.m. Wednesday in downtown Chicago.