Officials urge perfect attendance despite boycott

Chicago education officials, pastors and community leaders are fighting what they call “mixed messages” about whether students should attend the first day of classes next week.

Chicago education officials, pastors and community leaders are fighting what they call "mixed messages" about whether students should attend the first day of classes next week. Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan spoke at a rally Thursday on the South Side of Chicago and implored students to aim for perfect attendance. He criticized those organizing a school boycott to protest school funding disparities. State Senator James Meeks (D-15) and a group of Chicago pastors say thousands of students have agreed to skip school on September 2. The students will be bused to a northern suburb to try to register at a more affluent school instead. Duncan and several community leaders say a boycott puts children in the middle of a battle that should be settled by adults. AP ______ Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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