A Chicago charter school franchise often touted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pocketed some $387,000 in fees over three years by issuing demerits for “minor infractions” ranging from not sitting up straight to openly carrying “flaming hot” chips, parents and students charged Monday.
The list of forbidden conduct at the Noble Street Charter Network is “as long as my arm’’ but adds up to a “dehumanizing discipline system that looks a lot more like a reform school than a college prep,’’ Julie Woestehoff of Parents United for Responsible Education charged at a news conference Monday.
At Noble Street schools, four demerits within two weeks triggers a three-hour detention costing $5. More than 12 detentions lands students in a behavior modification class costing $140.
Twenty-five to 36 detentions in one school year: two discipline classes, carrying a $280 pricetag. More than 36 detentions? Kids have to repeat the grade.
But fining people for untied shoelaces, droopy pants, not sitting up straight? Chicago might actually end up running a budget surplus within five years and fully funding the pension inside of ten.
It's worth a shot, right?
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