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Chicago’s Public Schools May End School Year Early Due to Lawsuits

By Victor Trammell

Photo credits: Chicago Tribune

The city of Chicago’s embattled public school district is facing a new adversity, which adds to its growing list of problems.

According to WMAQ-TV, a local NBC News affiliate in Chicago, the city’s public schools may soon have to endure an early end to the current academic year. This is because of a rather large, pending lawsuit that has been filed against Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

The legal dispute at the center of the suit alleges that CPS is deliberately engaging in a school funding formula, which grossly discriminates against poorer black students who live in politically abandoned districts of the city.

A team of community stakeholders, including parents of CPS students met last week at a local community center to express their grievances.

“We need to work with CPS to figure out how to keep our kids safe and in school,” said Vanessa Valentin, a mother from the Chicago area that has special needs children enrolled in CPS. “As a parent, I will volunteer to keep my school open with other parents to keep kids safe,” she continued.

Members of the local clergy are also at the forefront of the fight inside Chicago to bring economic justice to the community’s children who deserve to receive an equitable education.

“The state did not, in any way, deny that the state of Illinois did not have the right to continue the practice of discriminating against Chicago Public School students,” Leon Finney of the Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church said at the community center meeting  last week.

The state of Illinois and the city of Chicago’s administrators do not see eye to eye on how to solve the funding problem going on at CPS. Beth Purvis, the state’s education secretary has publicly denied that a discriminatory funding problem against CPS exists.

However, Rahm Emanuel, the city’s mayor has blamed the state, including the governor for the ongoing financial woes that are troubling the public school district of Chicago.

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