Action Now and Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, along with organizations from 18 other cities, traveled to Washington D.C. to testify at the Department of Education Hearing on Civil Rights on January 29th. The topic of the hearing is “The Impact Of Closing (Turnarounds, Phase-Outs, Restarts, Co-Locations) Of Neighborhood, Community Based Schools In 18 Cities Across The United States.”
Educational justice is one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time. Parents, students, teachers and community residents in low-income black and brown neighborhoods are the real stakeholders in current changes being made to the public education system. Action Now President Michelle Young, who is also on her Local School Council, is one of the parents that testified at the hearing. Through Mrs. Young’s testimony, the U.S. Department of Education got to hear what Action Now members have seen firsthand: school closings and charter openings disrupt community stability, hurt students and increase the racial achievement gap in Chicago.
Action Now President Michelle Young said, “We refuse to sit by while our schools grow more and more segregated and unequal. The ‘education reform’ movement that is behind school closings has an agenda to profit from the privatization public schools. Our children need fully funded public schools with ample resources to help them learn, not some rich outsider’s corporate agenda!”
New York Times, “Education Dept. to Hear School Closing Complaint”
Huffington Post, “School Closures Violate Civil Rights, Protestors Tell Arne Duncan”
WBEZ 91.5 FM, “Chicago school closings being investigated”
Washington Post, “Activists to U.S. Education Department: Stop school closings now”