Chicago students skip school in protest

Filed under: Teens, Work Life, Day Care & Education

An old fashioned school room wiht wooden chairs and desks.Money is not the only thing that makes a good school, but it certainly helps. There is "no denying the fact that funding allows us to have smaller classes, a deep and rich curriculum and many extracurricular activities," said Superintendent Linda Yonke of the New Trier school district near Chicago, Illinois. New Trier High School spent $17,500 per student last year, more than half again as much as Chicago Public Schools.

The disparity comes largely from the fact that seventy percent of school funding comes from property taxes, so schools in more affluent, more expensive areas have a larger source of revenue. Kids in lower income areas end up with schools that can't afford to offer extra-curricular activities, smaller classes, and better materials.

Last Tuesday, more than a thousand Chicago students skipped the first day of school in order to protest the difference in school funding. The students rode buses to the New Trier school district to fill out applications for enrollment in the better-funded district. "If we say we're a world-class city, then we shouldn't be content with having second-class schools," said state Senator James Meeks, who led the boycott. "I do not believe that a child's education should be based on where they live."

In California, schools are funded equally, regardless of where they are located or local property values. This seems to me to be a much better idea over all because, in the big picture, we're all in this together and everyone should have an equal shot at a good education.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.