Community Members from 18 Cities Call on US Dept. of Education to End Discriminatory Public School Closings at Washington D.C. Hearing

National “Journey for Justice” Movement Gains Speed In Wake Of Mass School Closings & Turnarounds That Violate Civil Rights & Promote Divestment In Low-Income Communities of Color

(Download Media Kit)

Students, parents and advocacy representatives from 18 major United States cities testified at a community hearing before Arne Duncan (in attendance for early portion of hearing) and the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, January 29, on the devastating impact and civil rights violations resulting from the unchecked closing and turnaround of schools serving predominantly low-income, minority students across the country.

More than 10 cities have filed, or are in the process of filing, Title VI Civil Rights complaints with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, citing the closing of schools and the criteria and methods for administering those actions as discriminatory toward low-income, minority communities. Representatives from 11 cities will testify at the hearing on the impact of school closings including the civil rights violations and the destabilization of their children and their communities resulting from the criteria used for school closings and the current accepted movement to privatize schools.

Demands of the Department of Education include a moratorium on school closings until a new process can be implemented nationally, the implementation of a sustainable, community-driven school improvement process as national policy, and a meeting with President Obama so that he may hear directly from his constituents about the devastating impact and civil rights violations.

The community hearing was followed by a candlelight vigil at the Martin Luther King Memorial to continue to raise the voices of those impacted by the destabilization and sabotage of education in working and low-income, communities of color.

Approximately 500 students, parents and community representatives, impacted or at risk of impact by school closings, representing 18 cities across the country will attend the hearing including: Ambler, Pa.; Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Cleveland; Detroit; District of Columbia; Eupora, Miss.; Hartford, Conn.; Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles; Newark; New Orleans; New York; Oakland, Calif.; Philadelphia; and Wichita, Kan.

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