A coalition of early childhood education advocates spoke out Thursday morning against plans at the City Colleges of Chicago to consolidate child development programs to a single location at Harry Truman College in the North Side Uptown neighborhood.
Four Chicago aldermen joined the advocates at a morning press conference before the City Colleges Board of Trustees meeting. Coalition members, including representatives from the Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU* Healthcare Illinois, said consolidating the educational programs could adversely affect early childhood education students living on the city's South and West Sides, where several programs are closing.
"This will have an enormous hardship on students trying to get to the North Side. It will devastate these programs, and it will take needed support services out of these communities," said Tony Johnston, president of the Cook County College Teachers Union, which represents full-time faculty and other City Colleges staffers.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) principal Troy LaRaviere faced the media Thursday morning to speak out against the "politically motivated charges" leveled against him by the district.
Last month, CPS removed LaRaviere -- an outspoken critic of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS -- from Blaine Elementary School in Lakeview and reassigned him to his home with pay until the disciplinary process is complete.
CPS has 12 total dismissal charges pending against LaRaviere involving insubordination, dereliction of duty and ethics violations.
LaRaviere's removal comes as he runs for president of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, the election for which is currently underway and ballots will be counted next week.
"When I was a lone voice, the administration tolerated me," LaRaviere said this morning at the Wishbone Restaurant on Lincoln Avenue. "But when faced with the prospect of an organized group of education leaders speaking as one on behalf of students, they've moved with haste and reckless abandon to prevent that from happening."