Uppity Awards

Uppity Award: Chicago Urban League

I did a post on August 15 about three days after I got back to Chicago when I found out that South Side State Senator James Meeks was planning a boycott and taking a bus load of kids to enroll them in a suburban school district.  The point of the boycott was to bring attention to the disparity of funding to schools.

A group of ministers came out early against the plan arguing students need to be in school, and then another group of ministers came out and said this was a good idea.  The ministers that were against it then, of course, began seeing Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan and of course Chicago’s favorite blathering box of idiocy Hizzoner Mayor Richard M. Daley

The problems with Meeks plans are

A) That CPS gets funding based on attendance numbers–so removing students from a school would ultimately decrease funding at said school. 

B) There’s a misunderstanding of the “School’s Choice” program which would ultimately allow the parents to remove a child if miseducation or non-education can be proved.  I can gurantee that when Meeks rolls up into New Trier High School on September 2nd that he will not have paperwork to prove that these kids have not been educated at their prospective high schools. 

C) That’s right, high school!  Don’tcha think it’s a bit late to be hollering about a change of education?  Even if he can enroll these kids, sorry, but these kids are ions behind the kids at the school he’d be enrolling them at in the northwestern/northern Chicago suburbs.

Secretly, I was hoping something like this would happen.  Either the governor or the mayor would call Meeks’ bluff and step and do something.  Meeks is the broken-clock-right-twice-day and he’s right, something needs to be done about school funding in Chicago Public Schools.

So, in steps the Chicago Urban League.

A lotta black folk always holla about these black organizations not doing anything, but the Chicago Urban League has stepped in and is doing something.

Using property tax revenue to fund schools is unconstitutional and discriminatory, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Chicago Urban League.

The use of property tax violates the 2003 Illinois Civil Rights Act, the group says in the lawsuit, filed in Cook County against the state and the Illinois State Board of Education.

Illinois’ current system of funding exacerbates the state’s segregated housing problem, especially in Chicago, said Lisa Scruggs, a lawyer for the group. Because homes in neighborhoods with high percentages of minorities have lower values than homes in white neighborhoods, schools in minority districts get less funding.

“The basic fact that you have a distinction between low property-wealth districts and high property-wealth districts, ultimately that leads down the road to gaps in education performance,” Scruggs said.

I wanna make sure to give a shout out to Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Jackson for helping spearhead this lawsuit and actually getting something done.

It was the leading news story on ABC Channel 7 out here and in the press conference and I was able to see Rev. Otis Moss III of Trinity United Church of Christ and the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition were visible at the news conference. 

And weirdly enough James Meeks was there as well.

Again, if you have any people you think are worthy of an Uppity Award just go up to the CONTACT ME! tab and slide me an email to let me know what’s up.  Make sure to leave some comments about how you feel about this.

Keep it uppity, keep it truthfully radical, JLL

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