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Chicago Students Shorten Boycott

Protest Over Funding Called Off When Governor Refuses Meeting

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Organizers called off a boycott of the Chicago public schools last week, saying they wanted students to return to class and Gov. Rod Blagojevich to meet to discuss the Illinois' education funding system.

State Sen. James T. Meeks, a pastor who led what was supposed to be a four-day boycott, said he ended the protest after two days because Mr. Blagojevich said he wouldn't meet while it was going. Now, the ball is in the Democratic governor's court, said Mr. Meeks, also a Democrat.

Organizers said the two-day boycott that began Sept. 2 was effective and brought attention to the issue of school funding while showing students what a well-financed school looks like. The day school started in Chicago, more than 1,000 students boarded buses to suburban Northfield, where they symbolically registered at the affluent New Trier High School. Other students attended impromptu lessons in 16 Chicago office buildings.

Arne Duncan, the chief executive officer of the 408,000-student district, said keeping children out of school is wrong even if the message is right.

See Also
See other stories on education issues in Illinois. See data on Illinois' public school system.

Vol. 28, Issue 03, Page 4

Published in Print: September 10, 2008, as Chicago Students Shorten Boycott
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