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Lawndale Alliance
PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Dec 17, 2014

Chicago Mayoral, 24th Ward Candidates Court West Side Voters At Local Forum

Chicago mayoral and 24th Ward aldermanic hopefuls spoke to West Side residents at a Tuesday night candidate forum. Progress Illinois was there for the event.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Apr 21, 2014

Dvorak Elementary Supporters Urge CPS To Hold Off On Proposed AUSL Turnaround

Supporters of Dvorak Technology Academy in North Lawndale held a rally Monday night in a last-ditch effort to save their school from having its entire staff fired and replaced next year by the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), a controversial school turnaround contractor. 

Parents, students and other community stakeholders held a protest outside of Dvorak to call on the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district to put in place a moratorium on school turnarounds.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Mar 6, 2014

10th District Race: Candidates Sound Off On Elected Chicago School Board, TIF Reform

Three of the five candidates vying to unseat incumbent State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) in the crowded 10th District Illinois House race took part in a forum Wednesday night, discussing everything from education to TIFs. Progress Illinois was there for the discussion. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Apr 24, 2013

Henson Elementary Hosts Unity Rally Against School Closings

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 June.

“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.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Apr 23, 2013

North Lawndale Residents Say School Closures Will Negatively Affect Local Property Values (VIDEO)

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.

Pugh 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 Friday afternoon.

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.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Mar 21, 2013

North Lawndale Stakeholders Release Alternative Plan To School Closures (VIDEO)

A coalition of North Lawndale leaders and education advocates released an alternative plan to school closings today, including a comprehensive community strategy to provide wraparound services and capacity building for schools targeted for closure.

The meeting at the Better Boys Foundation comes a day after news leaked that the Chicago Public Schools has plans to close 50 schools, which would be the largest round of schools closed at one time in the nation.  WBEZ is also reporting that additional schools may be turned around to address low performance.

It’s rumored that CPS could release the names of those schools slated to close today.

“There were 12 schools on the list for North Lawndale that were slated to be closed as of yesterday,” said Valerie Leonard, with the Lawndale Alliance and a member of the ad hoc Committee to Save North Lawndale Schools. “We understand that this list could change today. We understand that principals are being notified as we speak as to whether or not their schools are on the list.”