Friday afternoon brought word from City Hall that CPS will not close early despite a ruling against the district in a lawsuit against the state.
“The kids of the city of Chicago will be in school until the end of the year because that’s where they belong,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel at an afternoon news conference.
We couldn’t agree more. When students miss school their academics suffer. Simply put, they can’t learn if they are not in school, which is why this announcement is so important. Students can get set back by a year or two if they miss three days a month. It might not seem like a lot, but it adds up. The time in classrooms that Chicago students now have will make a huge impact on their achievements.
Separately, it’s worth noting that Judge Franklin Valderrama, who ruled in the CPS lawsuit on Friday, had some pertinent quotes included in his ruling, specifically about school attendance and funding.
“It can hardly be disputed that a child missing one day, let alone twenty days, from a school year constitutes irreparable harm,” he wrote. “Nor can Defendants credibly contest that the cancellation of summer school and other budget cuts would not constitute irreparable harm to CPS students. Education is the gateway to success. To reduce a student’s opportunity to attend school is to lessen a student’s opportunity to succeed.”
Furthermore, Judge Valderrama noted the school funding challenges facing the state: “To say that the State’s current scheme of funding public education is broken is to state the obvious.”
Read more about Stand’s recent General Assembly testimony regarding changes to the school funding formula here.