Oct 27, 2014
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that high school students graduating with a 3.0 (B) average would get scholarships for two years to the City Colleges of Chicago, the community colleges, to cover their tuition, fees and books, worth about $11,000 over two years. These costs keep many of the poorest students out of college. Yet decades ago, community colleges were as free as high schools.
Emanuel put the cost of these scholarships at two million dollars a year. That means he expects only 364 students a year to get them or 2% of all high school graduates. And how many don’t even graduate?
Even if that 2% get the scholarships, what is that? Nothing. But it’s an accurate reflection of the education provided the children of Chicago’s working class.
A few years ago, Rahm Emanuel told Karen Lewis, the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, “25% of the students in this city are never going to be anything, never going to amount to anything, and I’m never going to throw money at them.” He’s been acting on this disgusting position ever since being in office. Except it’s more like 90-95% of the students his policies discard.
Rahm Emanuel has closed inner city schools and pushed students out of neighborhood schools. And teachers and staff have been cut. Librarians, counselors, and the arts teachers were the first to be laid off. Very experienced teachers were out on the street. Some were replaced by new hires with very little teaching experience. Constant tests mean that tens of thousands of students from poor backgrounds have been held back. The tests aren’t used to decide who needs extra help, but who will be discarded.
Mayor Emanuel’s 3.0 scholarship was nothing but an election announcement, designed to divert attention from his vicious attacks on the children in most of Chicago’s schools.