Sep 30, 2013
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he would put 17 million dollars into a new annex for Walter Payton High School. Payton is a selective enrollment school – that is, students must take a test to get in. According to people who rate high schools, Payton is one of the best high schools in Illinois, one of the best in the whole country. A few token working class students go there, but most Payton students are those already wealthy and privileged enough to get a better primary school education.
Too bad the other schools don’t get the same resources. In fact, Emanuel’s school board just cut the budgets of hundreds of neighborhood schools by between 10 and 20%, leading to thousands of teacher and staff layoffs and higher class sizes. This came on top of closing 50 neighborhood elementary schools.
It’s no accident Payton gets money while other schools get cut. Payton is located a few blocks from Chicago’s downtown – making it the school of choice of many of the city’s political and business elite.
Emanuel’s contempt for the working class could not be more clear. Schools for the wealthy get millions, while schools in workers’ neighborhoods starve.