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Scott Waguespack

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Quick Hit
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11:31am
Thu Jun 27, 2013

Op-Ed: City Council Progressive Reform Caucus Speaks Out On CPS Budget Cuts

The Chicago City Council Progressive Reform Caucus members released the following statement on Thursday in response to the news of massive cuts to Chicago Public School budgets across the city.

Even after all the supposed cost-savings arising from the closing of 50 public schools, Chicago Public Schools are now facing the most severe budget cuts in their history. While we still do not know the full extent of these cuts, at least 850 CPS employees will lose their jobs. Schools received their new budgets this month and found their budgets severely reduced.

As elected representatives of the communities of Chicago, we are alarmed by the stripping of basic necessities which define a school. The neighborhood schools have been reduced to beggars, lacking such essentials as sanitation supplies, library book funds, field trip money, playground supervision. The principals have been given the new budgets and told to ‘do more with less.’

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:15pm
Thu Mar 21, 2013

How The School Closure Moratorium Bill Got Kicked Down The Road

A bill to put a to put a temporary moratorium on school closings advanced in the Senate Education Committee Tuesday, however it was “shelled” and all language was stripped out, according to a spokeswoman for Sen. William Delgado (D-Chicago), the legislation’s chief sponsor.

The bill, SB 1571, was changed because the votes in the committee weren’t all there for its approval and its language needed to be strengthened.

Lawmakers were also feeling the heat of getting bills out of committee by this week’s deadline, the Associated Press reported.

Stacy Davis Gates, legislative and political director for the Chicago Teachers Union, which sent members to Springfield to testify on the moratorium’s behalf, said stripping the language was a “legislative maneuver,” because if it stayed in committee, it would be dead.

“The biggest part is it’s alive,” she said. “Had everything stayed in as is, it probably wouldn’t have gotten out.”

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
11:39am
Tue Mar 19, 2013

Education Activists Head To Springfield Calling For Moratorium On School Closings (VIDEO)

A group of education activists boarded a bus to Springfield this morning to campaign for a moratorium on school closings in Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

Leaving shortly after 6:30 a.m., the group of approximately 30 CPS staff members, students and supporters plan on attending a 1 p.m. Senate Education Committee hearing at the Illinois Statehouse. Organized by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) the group aimed to petition for lawmakers’ support and testify on behalf of SB 1571, legislation that would place a two-year moratorium on school closings.

“Before they instill policies and close schools they should listen to the people who actually do the job,” said Dorothy Clabaugh, a librarian at Alexander Graham Elementary School in Canaryville, which is one of 129 schools that is facing a potential school action.

PI Original
by Aricka Flowers
10:24pm
Wed Mar 13, 2013

Second So-Called Progressive Caucus Emerges In Chicago City Council, Begging The Question Of Why?

A second group of aldermen, calling themselves the Paul Douglas Alliance (after the liberal Illinois U.S. Senator and former member of the Chicago City Council), announced they are forming a new so-called progressive caucus. The move comes one day after the council's original progressive caucus, the Progressive Reform Coalition, announced their legislative priorities. Progress Illinois breaks down what the formation of the second progressive caucus could really mean.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:13pm
Tue Feb 12, 2013

Logan Square Community Fights To Keep Neighborhood Schools Open At CPS Hearing (VIDEO)

Carrying signs and chanting about the need to save neighborhood schools, hundreds gathered at Armitage Baptist Church Monday night for a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) meeting to discuss potential school closings on the Northwest side.

Five representatives from CPS listened to testimonies from concerned parties at the Logan Square church during the meeting with local representatives, parents and teachers who pleaded their schools’ cases.

“This neighborhood is full of kids, and those parents are going to send their kids to our neighborhood schools — you’re here for a community hearing, so listen to us,” said Seth Lavin, a six-year resident of Logan Square who wishes to send his two-year-old son to Lorenz Brentano Math & Science Academy. Lavin’s wife serves on Brentano’s local school council.

PI Original
by Matthew Blake
4:52pm
Fri Jan 18, 2013

No Movement On Chicago Infrastructure Trust, Yet

Proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel last March and approved by the Chicago City Council in April, the Infrastructure Trust outlined a way to finance infrastructure projects in the city during a time of prolonged federal and state budget crises and near absolute political aversion to tax increases. Its polarizing central concept of private companies investing in public infrastructure and then receiving some undefined return on their investment was alternately seen as a revolutionary way to improve Chicago and a nefarious step towards private investors opaquely dictating public policy. We take a look at what has come of the controversial Trust thus far.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
4:29pm
Wed Oct 24, 2012

Chicago City Council: School Closing Hearing Will Be Held, Homeless Population Questioned

The Chicago City Council will hold hearings on what are rumored to be 80 to 120 neighborhood school closings, according to Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th), head of the council's education committee.

Thomas, who as education chairperson must convene such a panel, has previously been silent on a resolution signed by 32 aldermen calling for a school closing hearing. She told Progress Illinois that she would “absolutely” hold such a hearing.

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