Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel rolled out his second-term education agenda Thursday at an invite-only speech, saying he wants to expand the number of full-day preschool classrooms and increase the Chicago Public Schools' graduation rate to 85 percent.
One year after the Chicago Board of Education voted to close 50 "underutilized" public schools, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) says the district has not delivered on various promises to invest in the designated "welcoming schools" that took in displaced students.
“Shuttering our schools was touted as a hard and difficult choice by the mayor and the board, but this was the easy, draconian choice,” CTU President Karen Lewis said in a statement. “Parents, teachers, and the public demanded resources and supports for these education communities. Sadly, by making promises that remain unfulfilled, these schools and the students they serve have been dealt yet another blow — from failed policy to broken promises.”
Education policy experts will discuss the "freshman on-track: indicator, which is a program that looks to identify students who are not on track to graduate from high school early on as a means to rectify the situation.
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.
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.
As local public schools begin to grapple with devastating budget
cuts, community activists from across the city continue to put the
spotlight on Chicago’s tax increment financing (TIF) program.
Since its inception in 1986, the city’s TIF program has raked in about $5 billion in property tax dollars. Of that money, $2.7 billion was diverted from the school district.
return, Chicago’s TIF program looks to spur economic development in
blighted areas by providing subsidies to companies for projects, such as housing complexes or a shopping center. TIF money has also been used for school building construction projects.
at a recent TIF town hall meeting, Rogers Park residents criticized the
program, saying it has done little to generate economic development in
the 49th Ward and other struggling communities across the city.
“We need to end the TIF program,” said 49th Ward resident Don Olson at the CivicLab’s TIF forum held at Loyola Park last week.