Students at Matthew Henson Elementary released dozens of balloons
Tuesday afternoon signifying their unity and hope that the school will
remain open despite the Chicago Public Schools' plan to shut it down in
“Henson is everything a community school ought to be," said
Valerie Leonard, of the Lawndale Alliance and the Committee to Save
North Lawndale Schools. "They’re the model for what we want to include
in all of our schools in North Lawndale."
Henson has a health clinic, a parent resource center, two technology labs and a library, speakers at the rally said.
“The school that they’re going to doesn’t have nearly the number of resources that Henson has," Leonard said.
Lisa Pugh, the Local School Council chairwoman at Pope Elementary School,
walked down the 1900 block of South Troy Avenue directly behind the
school, rattling off at least a dozen of her neighbors’ names.
has lived in her home, which was built in 1909, for more than 12 years.
Other homes on the block are also more than a century old, and the
residents work hard to keep them well maintained, she said on a windy
But the Chicago Public Schools plan to shut down
Pope in June has left Pugh and other nearby residents
wondering what will happen to their property values and their North
Lawndale neighborhood if the building is left vacant.
“Like me, a
lot of the property owners don’t want it to close because their
property taxes are going into the school, and it’s ridiculous to see
(CPS) want to close it down,” she said.
The proposal to close 54 schools
across the Chicago Public Schools system is unsafe and will destabilize communities already
hit hard by the economic depression, according to speakers at a
Congressional Forum hosted by U.S. Reps. Bobby Rush (D, IL-1) and Danny Davis (D, IL-7) over the weekend.
In the wake of the Chicago Public Schools plan to close 54 schools
across the district, U.S. Reps. Danny Davis (D, IL-7) and Bobby Rush
(D, IL-1) are hosting a Congressional Joint Forum on school closings
this Saturday, April 20.
The Graduate Employees Organization at the University of Illinois at
Chicago agreed to authorize a strike vote last night after the union
did not accept the university's final offer regarding a livable
wage and better access to healthcare for its members.
Residents of Chicago’s North Side neighborhoods of Ravenswood and
Uptown got their final opportunity Wednesday night to voice concerns over the
impending merger of two elementary schools.
"Is the power really with the people or is it with the administration," asked Tonya Hunter, a concerned citizen of Ravenswood, at yesterday's meeting. "Are we wasting our time? Is the train already in motion and running, because if it is, do we have any data that school closings benefit children overall?"