School board lectures parents on politics

April 25, 2012

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Chicago parents who complain the school board doesn’t listen to them got a lecture on politics Wednesday.

A mother opposed to the longer school day opened a picture book and proceeded to read a story to Chicago’s school board at its monthly meeting:

"Once upon a time there was a city that housed the third largest school distinct in the land…" the mother began.

"This district was ruled by the mayor and his appointed board," she continued.

In response, board president David Vitale said he wanted to remind the public that a longer school day was one of the mayor’s key education planks during his campaign.

"And he got elected," Vitale said. "And he got elected by a wide margin across all elements of this city."

Vitale said district leaders have listened "night and day" to parents and are balancing concerns. But, he added, "when you get out there in the world, you don’t hear the level of complaint that we hear in this room."

Parents told board members that schools are already short on resources and teachers; they said additional hours would make that worse.