U.S.A: PEOPLE BEFORE $$$$$$$$$$



Schools vs. Condos


The kids at Bruce-Monroe at Parkview, an elementary school in Washington D.C., go home with nosebleeds and coughs, sick from the poorly ventilated rooms.

Teachers told our Education Editor, Carol Scott, that they leave windows open in the dead of winter so that the decrepit furnaces don’t heat the rooms to unhealthy levels — and so that the smell of dead mice can escape. Drug users shoot up in the park around the corner.
A safer place for these students to learn is possible — but they need our help to fight for it.
Three years ago, D.C.’s school district and city council promised these children a brand-new school. They demolished their old school building and shuttled them to this 95-year-old “substitute” school, which they were told was only temporary.
But this October, parents found out that the city leaders who promised a new school are instead entertaining plans for pricey retail and housing — including plans for luxury townhouses and a high-end market.
It’s the same story around the country: cities from Minneapolis to Houston are selling off public school sites to make a quick buck, while ignoring the needs of the community. In some places, developers just name the condos after the schools they’re replacing.
But the parents of Bruce-Monroe aren’t standing for it. They’ve organized, and together are speaking up for their kids. They continue to lobby their city council members and demand that the promise to their children be kept. But instead of being held up as a model of engaged, involved parents, they keep getting the runaround by officials who hope they’ll just give up.
These parents have created a petition on Change.org, and asked for our help.  They believe that with enough pressure and attention city leaders can be convinced to keep the promise they made three years ago.
We can make this happen—and send a signal to cities across the country that parents won’t stand for their schools being treated as real estate for the highest bidder. Tell D.C. Mayor-Elect Vince Gray and Ward 1 Council Member Jim Graham to build a new school for the children of Bruce-Monroe.

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