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When elected officials make decisions about budget cuts, they expect constituents to quietly accept their decisions. But when parents of students at the Gresham Elementary School heard that politicians had decided to close the school, they sprang into action. They have mountred a formidable campaign and have no intention of backing down. A recent sit in at the school was indication that this is going to be a battle to the bitter end, and the determined families of Gresham students are in it for the long haul. Their struggle raises questions: Why would politicians insist on closing a school that has been making steady improvements with long time committed teachers and has strong parental support?Apparently there are other political agendas surrounding the school facility that have nothing to do with the best interest of the neighborhood children. The families who are waging the battle to keep their children's school open intend to expose any hidden agendas by elected officials who insist that the school is not meeting the necessary criteria to remain open. How do parents fight back when elected officials seem to be causing disruption in the community on purpose? Gresham parent protest coordinators Tiffany Walker and Ollie Clements tell the story. Tara Stamps, a amemberof the Teacher's Union Black Caucus and a member of the Board of the Marion Stamps Youth Center explains how the median income of the neighborhood in which a child lives may determine how much respect elected officials give to the child's educational needs.
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