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PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
Wed Apr 3, 2013

Debate On CPS School Closures Heats Up At Chicago Board Of Education Meeting (VIDEO)

There was no shortage of heated words today at the Chicago Board of Education’s monthly meeting as Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett presented her final school closure plan. Parents, teachers and activists all urged board members to consider the consequences the school actions will likely have on Chicago's communities.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Apr 3, 2013

Teachers, Parents & Students Protest CPS' Plan To Turnaround Chalmers Elementary

Thomas Chalmers Specialty Elementary School on the West Side isn’t slated to shut down at the end of the school year, but its entire staff could be replaced by the Academy for Urban School Leadership if the Chicago Public Schools has its way.

Chalmers Principal Kent Nolen and a few hundred parents, students, teachers and Local School Council members made it clear at the State of the School Address last night that they won’t sit back and let that happen.

“We have been showing significant growth in reading and math and science, so then we should not be touched,” said Chalmers third grade teacher Louis Lane before the meeting. “At first it was space utilization, now it’s turnaround. We’ve turned around. Maybe they should turn around and go back to where they came come.“

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Mon Mar 25, 2013

Education Activists Take School Closure Fight To Bank Of America (VIDEO)

A group of protesters pushed back against the Chicago Public Schools' plan to close and consolidate schools this weekend, taking their fight to Bank of America on Saturday where they rallied against the price of costly interest-rate swaps.

Carrying signs and chanting “banks got bailed out, children got sold out,” a group of about 30 protesters, organized by the Grassroots Collaborative and Pilsen Alliance, marched from Pilsen Elementary Community Academy to two Bank of America branches hoping to get a letter sent to the bank’s Illinois president.

“Big banks sold school districts and government ‘interest-rate swap’ agreements on the premise that they would reduce the costs of borrowing. But the opposite has happened,” the letter to Tim Maloney, Illinois president of Bank of America, said. “In Chicago, even though the city just announced 54 school closings, the most ever shut down at once in the nation’s history, banks like Bank of America are gouging the Chicago Public Schools for $35 million a year."

PI Original
Fri May 20, 2011

Interest-Rate Swaps: The Truth About Chicago's “Rotten Deals” (VIDEO)

Progress Illinois is breaking down the truth about the complicated interest-rate swaps with big banks that costs the city of Chicago $74.2 million each year.
PI Original
by Micah Maidenberg
Fri Nov 5, 2010

CTU: An Educator, Not An Executive, Needed Atop CPS

CPS chief Ron Huberman is leaving. So is Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. A new administration is aggressively positioning the teachers' union. What does it all mean for the next leader of the nation's third-largest school district?