Southwest Side residents and education activists delivered over 500 community letters to Chicago Ald. Ed Burke's (14th) office on Wednesday as part of their campaign against new Noble charter school campuses proposed for the area. Local residents were also granted a meeting with Burke's assistant to discuss the charter school issue.
Local residents and school and elected officials on Chicago's Southwest Side packed a town hall meeting at Thomas Kelly High School late Thursday morning to push back against a proposal to open two new charter high schools in the area.
The charter proposal comes at a time when neighborhood schools on the Southwest Side and across the city are facing another round of deep budget cuts as the school district grapples with large budget and pension problems.
Those at today's town hall meeting argued that the new Noble campuses could come at the expense of cash-starved traditional neighborhood schools and the programs they offer. If district-run neighborhood schools lose students to the new charters, for example, they would see less funding due to Chicago Public Schools' (CPS) per-pupil budgeting formula.
The following is from the Jane Addams Senior Caucus.
Over three hundred senior citizens, their allies and aldermen gathered at Daley Plaza Tuesday to dramatically protest the housing and economic policies supported by Mayor Emanuel, which are having disastrous impact on struggling families and seniors.
The message chanted at the Rally was “What do we want? $15 Now! What do we want? CHA Housing Justice!”
Shatara Uhunmwangho, leader of Chicago Housing Initiative who is homeless said, “I made the decision to participate in the political theater and rally because I am a mother, I am a worker and I am on the waiting list for the Chicago Housing Authority. Affordable housing is an issue for my family. My daughter and I need a stable and affordable place to live. This year, the city council has the opportunity to vote on two important issues that would transform the lives of thousands and thousands of families – the Keeping the Promise Ordinance and $15 Minimum Wage for Chicago Ordinance.”
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis is expected to join a coalition of community organizations and parents ahead of Wednesday's Board of Education meeting to launch a new campaign for universal child care and early education for the city's working families.