Parents, educators and other Chicagoans disgusted with authoritarian control of public education organized their own Board of Education, which held a public meeting one day before the mayor-controlled board held its meeting. The agenda was the same, but the tone and process were very different.

For one thing, the “People’s Board” met from 6-8 pm, in contrast to the regular board’s “banker’s hours.”

The star of the evening was a high school junior. Read her comments in full.

They start like this:

“Hi, my name is Dalia Mena. I’m a student organizer from the Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools, and I am a junior at Steinmetz High School. Last week Rahm Emmanuel gave Lincoln Park Elementary, a school in a rich neighborhood, $20 million. But when the problem is in a poor Black or Latino community suddenly CPS and the city are broke.

“We are a group of students that are not required to meet, but we do anyway because we deserve more than what CPS is giving us. This year, CPS took millions of dollars from neighborhood schools while giving more to charters…..”