On Wednesday January 23 at 11 a.m., in front of the John A. Wilson building, Empower DC, part of the Grassroots Media Project, and attorney Johnny Barnes will unveil their litigation strategy to block the 15 school closings announced by DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson.
In an exclusive interview with Daniel del Pielago, the Education Organizer at Empower DC, he explained:
'School closures in DC have become a failed cycle of unplanned, ineffective education reform.
'Since 2008 we’ve seen 28 schools closed in the District of Columbia and now we are faced with 15 more.
'This is leading to the loss of walkable neighborhood schools and to the demise of public schools as a viable choice for our city’s children and families.
'These closures are disproportionately affecting Wards in our city with higher populations of African-American and Latino residents and with higher levels of poverty.
'These closures have not led to any significant financial savings and re-investment back in to the schools and have not lead to any significant increases in educational outcomes for DC students.
'At this moment no elected city official is doing anything to stop this unjust cycle of school closures so we, Empower DC, our members and allies from around the city will continue the fight to stop school closures in our city.'
One of their powerful allies, Respect DC.org, a coalition of grassroots-based organizations, pastors, workers, environmentalists, parents, students and community members, tweeted succinctly from the 'Save Our Schools Summit' earlier this month in DC:
'With @EmpowerDC at the Save Our Schools summit. We won't let @mayorvincegray and Walmart privatize our schools.'
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