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Chicago Teachers Say New Graduation Rule Will Force Kids Into Poverty

July 8, 2017 
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Chicago, IL - Chicago high schools will soon refuse to let students graduate unless they can prove they’ve gotten a job, gotten into college, are enrolled in an apprenticeship or gap-year program, or joined the military.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said the rule, which will go into effect by 2020, would be “forcing kids into more poverty” by denying them diplomas if they can’t find jobs. “If you’ve done the work to earn a diploma, then you should get a diploma,” she told Telesur. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the rule is “going to help kids have a plan,” instead of “allowing them to go into a job market and the rest of their lives with a high-school diploma when everything tells you that they need more than that.” That “sounds good on paper, but the problem is that when you’ve cut the number of counselors in schools, when you’ve cut the kind of services that kids need, who is going to do this work?” Lewis said. Read more Read more
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