Mayor Emanuel defends school closings - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Mayor Emanuel defends school closings

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

In the South Side Pullman neighborhood, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made his first public appearance since the list of proposed school closings was released. It was denounced as racist by the President of the Teachers Union, who also called Emanuel a "murderer" of schools.

The mayor claims he has already made major improvements, pointing to the longer school day & longer school year that he negotiated with the teachers union. "I never thought it was right that Chicago kids were shortchanged with the shortest day; now kids don't have to choose between math & music," Mayor Emanuel stated.

With the Board of Education facing a big budget shortfall and so many Chicago Public Schools failing to educate their students properly, Emanuel said that large-scale changes are necessary, even if painful.

As the Mayor's news conference was ending, a half-dozen parents from Humboldt Park appeared outside. They hoped to save two schools that are targeted for closure.

In addition, Union leaders & other activists have planned a protest rally downtown Wednesday evening. Some promise a campaign of massive civil disobedience.

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