Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Urgent to Arne Duncan: Support the homeless children

Lincoln Park residents, please write to schools CEO Arne Duncan and urge him to settle the costly lawsuit brought by homeless families who need and deserve better support from CPS. Read the emergency letter sent by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and please follow through.

Through Renaissance 2010, CPS has been cutting service quality levels to those most in need while boosting amenities for the privileged. This creates change in a remarkably short time, giving us much better schools in neighborhoods like Lincoln Park, but shortchanging the toughest areas of the city. I favor a better balance.

I was struck by the contrast here when a Newberry friend just mentioned that, for the first time, school buses are picking kids up in front of the house instead of at a nearby schoolgrounds. That's good for Newberry kids (many of whom are underprivileged), but here we see that the homeless and others at underperforming schools are actually having similar services cut. How is that equitable?

I imagine Arne Duncan has a terribly unwieldy ship to steer. But to undercut services for those most in need would seem to be the last thing he should do. Lincoln Park should be the first to alert him to this error.


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