This is probably the coolest thing I’ve ever read. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that 1,000 students from Chicago Public Schools skipped the first day of class, rode a bus to a wealthy district and tried to register as students in order to highlight the gross inequalities that exist in the Illinois’ public schools.
The story follows Brandon, a student from Chicago’s mostly-black South Side, whose school spends about $11,000 per student per year, and Amanda, who attends one of the nation’s wealthiest schools a short distance away. Her district spends $17,000 per student.
This is the best part: the former school district, New Trier, welcomed the protesters.
“This was not done to embarrass us, but to call attention to the fact that not every school has the resources we do,” said Superintendent Linda Yonke. “We may disagree about his methods, but there is really very little disagreement about the state of funding in Illinois.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that Illinois contributes the second least of any state to primary and secondary education, which could help to offset funding inequalities caused by variable property values.
Of the 51 poorest school districts in Illinois, more than half are majority black. Three out of four of the state’s black children and two out of three of the state’s latino students attend a high-poverty school.
Students from both districts have combined to form the Illinois Council of Students. They drafted a “Students’ Bill of Rights” and are traveling the state to champion education-spending reform.
We need a group like this in Ohio.