This morning whilst dabbling in some leisurely reading of international news sources, I came across a story that had a real impact on me. The story was published on the 21st of March on The Global Post , and was titled “Chicago may close 10% of elementary schools to address $1 billion education budget gap”. The title alone is enough to evoke emotions of anger, empathy and sadness at the thought of school children potentially losing their local schools, but after reading the content, I wasn’t sure what to think.
“Chicago Public Schools, the country’s third-largest school district, has reported that nearly half of its 681 schools are under-enrolled, with 140 of them more than half empty”
On one hand, the story showed why the closure of the schools would be an advantageous move, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars, and allowing many children to move from their underutilized, half empty schools with low enrollment rates, to better performing schools close to their home with greater resources available to them.
“For too long children in certain parts of Chicago have been cheated out of the resources they need to succeed”
On the other hand however, the story tells of the disastrous impacts it could have on children and the local areas.
After reading the story I was thinking ‘oh it doesn’t sound so bad’, the positives seemingly outweighing the negatives and providing a better education for those in under used schools. However, after some further research, I discovered the closings were predominantly in poor neighborhoods, where the children would have little to no other options of education if the local school was closed, exposing them to “gang violence and turf wars.”
I felt a little embarrassed that I was looking at the closures in an agreeable light… To me it appears this story is written in a way as such to sway the public view of closures as more positive than negative. The writer of the story clearly had chosen a side in the fight and had reflected the biased they possessed in their writing of this article.