Yay New Trier!

Did anyone think I would type those words?

So today a Rev. Meeks led a boycott on the first day of Chicago Public School’s academic calendar by bussing a bunch of kids (I think 200) from inner city-Chicago’s failing schools to the North Shore’s famous New Trier High School and a grammar school in the same district. New Trier is famous because it is one of the best high schools in the nation. You guessed it — it is in a very wealthy, very white area of suburban Chicago.

A fact sheet distributed by New Trier Township High School District 203 explained the complicated funding formula in Illinois, which relies heavily on property taxes to support schools. According to the fact sheet, the New Trier school district property wealth per student is $1.125 million compared to $150,000 in Chicago.

Last night I wondered what would happen and thought the best outcome would be for the New Trier parents, teachers, and children to welcome them with open arm and think of it as a teach-in. Let’s learn from and about each other. All kids deserve good schools. And guess what? That is exactly what they did! Somehow I suspect that if these busses started showing up every day the New Trier District would not continue their hospitality, but if this means they are for the tax sharing plan long proposed in IL, that would be awesome!

But those are longer term discussions and this certainly is getting a lot of attention around Chicago today that could affect those long term decisions.

For today, the “YAY New Trier” is for knowing that these kids would be coming and doing everything to make them feel welcome (there were cookies and greeters and signs). Now let’s work toward that big issue of equal education opportunity!

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One Response to Yay New Trier!

  1. koolaid says:

    Not sure how to respond, except to say it’s pretty cool stuff. I can’t recall any protest events in my life where the protestors were met with open arms. But like you say, LB, the proof will be in whether the wealthy folks in Illinois recognize the value of ensuring all kids get at least an adequate chance to rise from poverty. I don’t see it ever being equal unless we were to outlaw private schools, but how would we reconcile such an act in a free society?

    How about this. Instead of bussing the CPS kids to the suburbs for a protest, require the kids from New Trier, along with their parents, to take a bus down to Chicago and spend a day in those schools. The laying on of eyes might go a long way toward convincing those who prefer to keep their conscience clean by remaining ignorant.

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