Apr 5, 2013 3
West Side parents and educators have called for a boycott of CPS’s school closing hearing Saturday morning and will hold an alternative community meeting instead (April 6, May Community Academy, 512 S. Lavergne, starting with a press conference at 10 a.m.) where they’ll present a community school plan.
Perhaps Mayor Emanuel ought to go.
He’s the one who recently said, “What I won’t accept is when people are asked, what’s your alternative, what’s your idea, and there’s silence.”
In fact several communities have developed their own plans, including strategic visions developed by six Community Actions Councils sponsored by CPS to improve communications with its stakeholders.
“They all fall on deaf ears,” said Elce Redmond of the South Austin Coalition. “The mayor has said his decision is final, and he doesn’t care what people have to say about it.”
“It’s a waste of time to go to the CPS hearing,” said Dwayne Truss of the Save Our Neighborhood Schools coalition. “Nobody that can make any decisions is going to be there. It’s a dog-and-pony show.”
As for CPS staff, he said, “They’re sticking to their talking points.”
CPS has proposed closing four schools in Austin, impacting 2,000 students, according to Austin Talks. Saturday’s official hearing is for Louis Armstrong Elementary.
SONS will present an alternative plan that will minimize school closings and save CPS money, Truss said.
The plan is based on the strategic educational plan developed by the Austin CAC, which Truss co-chaired with Ald. Deborah Graham (29th). The council included 25 elected officials, LSC members, religious and community leaders, and city agencies.
That plan focused on solutions to problems like high truancy rates and a lack of all-day early education programs, and proposed developing a range of curricular choices for Austin students, including an IB network running from elementary through high school.