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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:54pm
Tue Sep 24, 2013

Chicago Education Activists To Hold First 'People's School Board Meeting' Wednesday

Community members upset with the "damaging" education policies endorsed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's appointed school board will hold their first "People's School Board Meeting" Wednesday, the same day as the Chicago Board of Education's monthly meeting.

Organizers say the goal is to intensify the pressure for an elected, representative school board in Chicago. The Chicago Board of Education is the only non-elected school board in Illinois, and state government must ultimately change the rules.

Going forward, the people's board meetings will be held in the evenings after each monthly Chicago Board of Education meeting. It will be a space where people impacted by the board's "failed education policies", like school closures and budget cuts, can be heard. The Chicago Board of Education voted back in May to close a record-breaking 50 neighborhood schools. And the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district is also grappling with a projected $1 billion budget deficit, which has resulted in classroom spending cuts for some schools.

"This board has repeatedly made policy decisions that have failed Chicago children with no accountability to the public," said Jeanette Taylor, the Local School Council (LSC) chair at Irvin C. Mollison Elementary. "We will not go to any more sham school closing hearings. We will not sit at any more bogus advisory councils."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:21pm
Sat Sep 7, 2013

Ald. Hairston To Help Bring New Alternative High School To South Shore

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) says she will work with community stakeholders and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to bring a new alternative high school to the South Shore neighborhood now that plans have fizzled for the building of a Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy campus in her ward, which she opposed.

On Friday, a representative from Bridgescape, a national alternative high school operator, said it would open its second Chicago campus next month in Roseland, instead of the previously proposed South Shore site at 7037 S. Stony Island Ave.

Hairston strongly opposed the planned Bridgescape site in her community, saying South Shore residents wanted to see more businesses come to Stony Island Avenue, not a school. The proposed site was also across the street from the Children's Developmental Institute. An alternative high school, with students who may be "experiencing some difficulties",  wouldn't be a "good fit" near a day care, the alderman told DNAinfo Chicago earlier this week.

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