On the eve of a possible Chicago Public Schools teacher strike, two dozen or so CPS parents and their kids took to the leafy North Side street where Mayor Rahm Emanuel lives, and demanded he stanch the financial “bleeding.”
“The mayor has the power to avert a strike, and none of us here wants to see a strike, but we also know the teachers are fighting for what’s best for our children, and the mayor is holding up a settlement,” said CPS parent Erica Hade.
The mayor did not appear to be home. A Chicago police officer stood with arms akimbo on the sidewalk outside his house, while a crew of half a dozen men appeared to be building a new set of wooden steps.
“Mayor Emanuel, we’re no fools! If there’s money for developers, there’s money for schools!” the protesters chanted as they marched past.
“These cuts feel physically painful to us,” said parent Amy Ellison. “The village into which we’ve entrusted our children is in need of help, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in a position to provide that help.”
Repeating a familiar theme, the protesters urged the mayor to divert surplus tax-increment financing funds to help needy schools.