A proposed boycott of Chicago Public Schools was first floated last week by state Sen. Rev. James Meeks and has now picked up an endorsement by civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton.
A proposed boycott of Chicago Public Schools was first floated last week by state Sen. Rev. James Meeks and has now picked up an endorsement by civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton. Meeks, who doubles as pastor of the 20,000-member Salem Baptist Church on the South Side, proposed that Chicago Public Schools students skip the first day of school, which is Sept. 2. Instead, he proposed, the students should try enrolling at a suburban school that receives more state funding than CPS. In Chicago this weekend to attend the 79th Annual Bud Billiken Parade, Sharpton said he supports the proposed boycott. “Drastic times call for drastic actions,” Sharpton told the Defender. “Black schools deserve the same funding as any other state-funded school in Chicago, especially if there is a greater need for more resources to improve the school academically.” State statistics show students attending inner-city public schools are far behind academically than students attending suburban public schools like New Trier high school in north suburban Winnetka. Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network, a New York-based non-profit organization with a Chicago office, said he wants to expand his organization here so it can address more issues facing the Black community. ______ Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.