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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:09pm
Tue Apr 2, 2013

Local Advocacy Groups Call For Restoration Of State Homeless Student Education Funds

Given the potential record-breaking number of schools closing in Chicago and a recent report showing an increased number of homeless students in Illinois, anti-homeless advocates say it’s more important than ever for the state to restore funding for the education of students with unstable homes.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
3:30pm
Tue Apr 2, 2013

Community Demands New Galewood-Montclare Library (VIDEO)

For more than two years the Galewood-Montclare Library has been confined to an approximately 500 square foot room with only four book racks, three tables and two librarians’ desks. There are no computers, no wireless internet access, and the library is not open evenings or weekends. But community residents are demanding change.

Yesterday, members of the Galewood Residents Organization launched the “Check Out” Program, a month-long grassroots effort to increase the library’s circulation and raise awareness about the community’s need for a library upgrade. Residents are encouraged to rent as many books as possible (up to 30 for each person) in the hopes of checking out every book in the library.

“We know that there’s some budget issues and we’ve been patient,” said Neal Wankoff, member of the Galewood Residents Organization, who called the Galewood-Montclare Library “unusable” in it’s current state.

“We’re going to just keep making noise until they can’t ignore us anymore. We are not satisfied with this library,” he said.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:32am
Thu Mar 28, 2013

Valley View School Board Slams Proposal For Suburban Online Charter School

Valley View School Board members blasted the for-profit charter company K12 Inc. and its non-profit partner Virtual Learning Solutions at a hearing last night over plans to bring an online charter school to the Romeoville and Bolingbrook areas.

For nearly two hours, district officials grilled representatives from K12, a publicly held company that sells cyber schooling to states, on everything from its academic performance and accommodating students with disabilities to its lack of data showing student growth and success.

Virtual Learning Solutions and K12, which operates in at least 29 states outside of Illinois with two schools in Chicago, want to form the Illinois Virtual Charter School @ Fox River Valley for Valley View and 17 other school districts, including Plainfield and Oswego. Last night was the last of 18 hearings on the charter proposal.

“My fear is there’s something being hidden from us,” said Valley View School Board member Leo Venegas. “It sounds like it’s this fabulous program, but no substance, and I just don’t know if I can bring that to my community and say, ‘There’s value here, but we have no proof of the value.’”

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
11:22pm
Wed Mar 27, 2013

Thousands Take To Downtown Chicago Streets In Protest Against CPS School Closures (VIDEO)

More than 7,000 protesters descended upon downtown Chicago today in protest of school closures and related actions by the Chicago Public Schools system. Progress Illinois was there for the action.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:31pm
Mon Mar 25, 2013

CPS High School Students Protest Impending School Actions (VIDEO)

On the first day of spring break, a group of approximately 20 high school students marched to City Hall to deliver a letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel today, announcing their opposition to last week’s announcement from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) that 54 schools will be closed and another six are slated for turnaround.

“All CPS students are victims of this bad policy, because CPS is not listening to student voices,” said Israel Munoz, a senior at Thomas Kelly High School in Chicago’s West Side neighborhood of Brighton Park. “Shutting down public education anywhere in the city makes victims of students everywhere in the city.”

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