Park students and parents who gathered for an education meeting late last week want their local aldermen to publicly oppose the Chicago
Public Schools' (CPS) plan to expand charter schools on the Northwest
The more than 50 residents at the meeting, held at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church,
said they plan to visit the offices of Northwest Side Alds. Deb Mell
(33rd), Rey Colon (35th) and Margaret Laurino (39th) this week to urge them to sign a pledge to support neighborhood school investments and
speak out against new charters in the area.
CPS issued a request for proposals (RFP)
in mid-August for new charters in a number of "priority
communities", primarily on the Northwest and Southwest Sides, as a means
to help alleviate neighborhood school overcrowding. The charters
are slated to open in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years.
at the meeting said it's unacceptable that CPS released the RFP at a
time when Albany Park neighborhood schools are grappling with more than
$5 million in budget cuts.
"These budget cuts left us with huge
high school fees, not enough teachers or books for our classes, and our
neighborhood schools are struggling to give us [an] education we
deserve, but still, the mayor wants to open new charter schools," said
Jamie Adams, a Roosevelt High School sophomore and leader with Chicago
Students Organizing to Save our Schools (CSOSS).