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Chicago Public Schools are labeled filthy, as their questionable sanitation recently made headlines. However, school cleanliness should have been tackled before beginning the new school year.
Now, school officials claim they will hold themselves accountable for the matter. However, multiple CPS schools continue to be filthy. In addition, the district’s cleanliness problems are ongoing.
The situation led a CPS parent, Clarence Carson, to be hired in 2018; he was tasked with correcting the problem in Chicago’s filthy schools. He was the Chief of Facilities until Chicago-Sun Times published a story about the highly unsanitary issue at a Southwest Side elementary school. A few days after the report, CPS dismissed Carson.
Filthy bathrooms and floors and sightings of mice were reported at Eberhart Elementary two weeks ago. The situation forced teachers and administrators to take on extra roles. Chicago Public School’s CEO Pedro Martinez said they would be holding themselves accountable. He promised to make the needed changes.
Martinez also describes the matter of years of sanitation complaints as unacceptable. “The system has about 300 fewer janitors than needed,” according to a CPS spokesperson.
Aramark is the primary custodial services provider. Reportedly, their staffing shortages play a significant role in recent complaints.
However, Aramark’s employees protested on Wednesday outside of CPS Headquarters. Protesters contend the issue is more extensive than staffing shortages. Moreover, they complained that cleaning supplies and necessities like toilet paper are sparse and overall mismanagement.
Multiple grievances were expressed as one custodian says she purchases supplies using her own money. Another stated that the company did not send in replacements during a sick leave, which left another school unattended for weeks and increased mice sightings.
The interim facilities chief Ivan Hansen will take over from this point forward. Martinez praised Hansen’s level of experience in the management field and believes that he has the connections needed to make a change.
Written by Doneisha Jackson
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Chicago Sun-Times: Mice, roaches and no cleaning supplies: CPS custodians protest dirty school conditions; by Nader Issa
Chicago Sun-Times: Dirty schools: Latest on the CPS cleanliness issues
Featured Image Courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski’s Flickr- Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Jacob 13’s Flickr- Creative Commons License