Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel is a coward. He is not alone. Any leader who decided to close schools for budgetary reasons is a coward because it involves marginalizing people (not numbers, people) who cannot defend themselves in the voting process.
I will continue to believe this until a prison is closed instead of a school, since 66 percent of prisoners in the United States are doing time for non-violent crimes. Those prisoners cost $24 billion per year (by the way, we spend half that amount on welfare). Incarcerating marijuana users cost the country $1 billion per year in the mid-2000s. Our prison system is failing, with a recidivism rate of 40 percent, and cost $39 billion in 2010. The War on Drugs has cost over a trillion, and is obviously failing.
Even if you're not in favor of the reappropriation of funds (though studies show a one-to-one tradeoff between prison and education dollars), consider that the Department of Education made $51 billion last year, making it the highest earner in the United States. That's $6 billion more than the highest earning company in the US, ExxonMobil, more than Google or Apple, and almost as much earnings of the four major banks in the United States combined. What exactly is that money good for?
There is still hope, because at least this 9-year old has a clue. Rahm Emmanuel doesn't, and is willing to close 50 schools in poor areas with high rates violence and the highest murder rate in the nation.
What a disgrace.