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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:42pm
Thu Mar 12

Mollison Elementary Parents Sound Off On PARCC Test, Demand School Improvements (VIDEO)

Public school parents on Chicago's South Side are speaking out against the controversial PARCC standardized test as well as overcrowding and other conditions in their children's school, Irvin C. Mollison Elementary.

Gathering Thursday morning outside Mollison, located at 4415 S. King Dr., community members and parents whose children have opted out of the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) test said they want Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools officials "to answer to the disinvestment" at the school.

As part of the record number of school closings in 2013, CPS designated Mollison as the receiving school for the now-shuttered Anthony Overton Elementary School. According to parents, Mollision took in about 200 students from Overton.

"Closing and merging our schools has had a severe negative impact on our children," said Anna Jones, one of eight parents at the news conference. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:14pm
Wed Mar 11

Report: 'Tax Fairness' Key To Solving Illinois Budget Crisis

Illinois could generate up to $8.6 billion in new revenue annually if it were to embrace "tax fairness," according to a new report by Good Jobs First and the Keystone Research Center.

Quick Hit
by Op-Ed
9:31pm
Tue Mar 10

Op-Ed: Rauner's Budget Plan Gives Young Illinoisans 'Cause For Concern'

The following was written by Brenna Conway, the Illinois Director for the Roosevelt Institute -- Campus Network.

On the campaign trail, Governor Bruce Rauner shared very little about how he would tackle Illinois' extreme budget crisis. His messaging told us there was a plan, that the focus would be improving the business climate of our state and resolving our overwhelming pension problem, but not how we'd achieve these goals. As we finish up his first month on the job we now have a glimpse into both that plan and his style as a chief executive. The question is, are these things that young people in Illinois can support?

It's clear that the governor has a laser-like focus on our state's fiscal problems, and with a "credible debt projection of over $9 billion for fiscal year 2016," such a focus is vitally important to getting us back on track. But his tactics thus far do not reflect they way that young people in Illinois are hoping to solve our state's problems.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:56pm
Tue Mar 10

Five Chicago Housing Providers Sued Over Alleged Discrimination Against The Deaf

The disability advocacy group Access Living is suing five Chicago housing providers for allegedly violating of the federal Fair Housing Act by discriminating against people who are deaf.

Access Living, in partnership with Kirkland & Ellis LLP, filed the five housing complaints -- based on "fair housing tests" that paired deaf and non-disabled testers -- in federal court on Tuesday.

"It's hard enough for people with disabilities to find accessible, affordable housing," Access Living's President and CEO Marca Bristo said at a news conference to announce the complaint filings. "But when people with disabilities face discrimination by housing providers, the struggle to find housing becomes exponentially more difficult."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:02pm
Mon Mar 9

Rauner, Illinois GOP Congressmen Call For Vote On Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Monday's Illinois Business Immigration Coalition forum featuring Gov. Bruce Rauner, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Illinois Republican Congressmen Bob Dold, Adam Kinzinger and Aaron Schock, during which the officials called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:13pm
Fri Mar 6

Illinois Advocacy Groups Unite To Protect Medicaid From Rauner Budget Cuts

Health advocates and service providers vowed to ramp up pressure against Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner Friday, specifically taking aim at his proposal to slash the Medicaid program next fiscal year by $1.5 billion, during a "Medicaid and Budget Advocacy Summit."

About 200 people attended the summit, held at the Chicago office of SEIU* Healthcare Illinois Indiana. The union co-hosted the event with the AIDS Foundation Chicago, Campaign for Better Healthcare, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Citizen Action Illinois, Heartland Alliance, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, among other groups.

Organizers said the summit, which included a panel discussion on the governor's budget plan and breakout sessions about advocacy strategies, marks the start of a "long campaign" by the various groups seeking to put a human face on Rauner's proposed Medicaid cuts and influence lawmakers to opt against balancing the budget on the backs of vulnerable residents and working families. 

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