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Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
2:23pm
Tue Feb 19, 2013

Parents, Community Plead To Keep Schools In Ravenswood-Ridge Network Open (VIDEO)

It was an atmosphere reminiscent of a basketball game, with a cheering crowd packing the bleachers of a gymnasium donning the purple and gold colors of their favorite school.

But the rallying cry that came from those who attended Saturday’s Chicago Public Schools’ public hearing had nothing to do with rooting for their team to win, but rather it was a plea to officials to not shut down any one of the four schools still being considered for closure within the Ravenswood-Ridge Elementary Network.

Close to 200 concerned parents, teachers and community members attended the meeting held at Truman College on the city’s North Side. It was the latest in a series of discussions CPS officials are conducting with residents from various communities that have schools on the chopping block.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
3:02pm
Fri Feb 15, 2013

Parents Celebrate Gale Elementary Being Taken Off Closure List, But Remain Concerned About Charters

In the wake of a recently released list of potential school closings, parents and teachers celebrated a victory at a Gale Elementary town hall meeting last night.

Based on recommendations from the Commission on School Utilization, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett released a list, Wednesday, of 129 schools that may be on the chopping block for the next wave of school closures. Gale Elementary was not on the list.

“This is a happy day for our children,” said William Swain, a teacher at Gale for more than 10 years and a 25-year resident of Rogers Park.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:18am
Fri Feb 15, 2013

Students, Parents Rally To Save Lake Calumet Schools On CPS' Potential Closure List (VIDEO)

“Some Valentine’s Day,” read the sign Angela Coleman, a Chicago Teachers Union delegate for George Washington Carver Primary School, held as she pleaded that her school not be shut down at last night’s Chicago Public Schools community hearing for the Lake Calumet Network.

Coleman and hundreds of other far South Side residents representing the 10 schools that remain on CPS’ latest list of possible school closures, which was released Wednesday, filled the bleachers of Olive Harvey College in attempts to save their schools.

Minutes before the meeting started, the feisty crowd, some holding signs reading “What would Ira Aldridge say?” (referring to the namesake of one of the schools) chanted in unison, “Take us off the list,” while stomping in the bleachers.

Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
10:40am
Fri Feb 15, 2013

Advocates Call On Lawmakers To Have A Heart When It Comes To Federal Budget Cuts (VIDEO)

As the deadline looms for Congress to agree on a budget plan that would avoid an automatic series of spending cuts, a coalition of worker rights', veteran and anti-poverty advocates convened at Federal Plaza Thursday to voice their concerns over the potential negative impact such a move would have for the most vulnerable Americans.

More than $1 trillion in cuts over the next decade, known as sequestration, are set to go into effect March 1. According to a report released last September by the White House Office of Management and Budget, reductions would be made across the board, impacting more than 1,200 agencies and programs.

Singing such tunes as “Stop in the Name of Love”, some 40 to 50 protesters stood in the cold to give what organizers described as a “Valentine’s Day message” to both Illinois Democrat U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk to preserve funding for the country’s social safety net.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:59pm
Thu Feb 14, 2013

Illinois' Budgetary Problems Put Child Welfare Services Progress In Jeopardy, Report Says

Illinois’ fiscal crisis is posing a significant threat to the health and safety of children across the state, according to Voices for Illinois Children's annual Kids Count report.

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