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Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
12:15pm
Mon Aug 26, 2013

CPS Students Head Back To School, Safe Passage Program Takes Center Stage

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students have made their way back to class today, marking the first day of school since the Chicago Board of Education voted to shutter 50 neighborhood schools in May. Forty-eight of those schools were closed in June. 

Today is also the first day the expanded Safe Passage program has gone into effect, which is meant to help students safely travel to and from school as thousands of children trek to unfamiliar schools this year as a result of the closings. Many of the welcoming schools are located farther away from students' homes than their previous school, leading critics of the closings to say the move puts children at an increased risk of falling prey to gang violence or predators. Just one day before school began, a 28 year-old man was shot along a Safe Passage route and a 14 year-old boy was shot and killed less than a block away from Melody Stem School, a West Side welcoming school. Nonetheless, CPS insists the hundreds of workers in the Safe Passage program will provide students with the necessary security and supervision needed to keep them safe.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
1:49pm
Thu Aug 22, 2013

Education Activists Call For CPS Boycott (VIDEO)

A group of Chicago education activists are hoping thousands of students take part in an August 28 boycott of a school system, they say, is acting as a destabilizing force in low-income communities of color.

Next Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education is scheduled to vote on a proposed budget for the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district, which has proposed some $68 million in school budget cuts. Next Wednesday is also the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous speech calling for equality for African Americans. The March on Washington was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in U.S. history.

“Part of our democracy is speaking up when you are being dealt an injustice, part of our history in this country is being able to peacefully express your frustration when policies do not treat you right,” said Jitu Brown, an education organizer for the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO). “Young people will definitely get a lesson in representative democracy on this day.”

At a press conference on Thursday outside of the mayor’s office, Brown and approximately 50 education activists announced plans for the city-wide, one-day school boycott. The group also plans to stay away from the Chicago Board of Education meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:40pm
Fri Aug 2, 2013

Parents Fire Back At CPS Over Budget Cuts At Riotous Public Hearing

A public hearing regarding the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) proposed $5.6 billion budget for next year quickly escalated into angry shouting just minutes into the district’s financial presentation.

The planned budget for the 2013-2014 school year includes some $68 million in classroom cuts, including teacher layoffs, in an effort to help close the district’s reported $1 billion budget hole.

CPS Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cawley told the crowd that the district’s budget deficit is being driven largely by an increased pension payment it must make now that its three-year pension vacation has ended.

But the more than 100 community members at Thursday night's meeting, held at Truman College, were irritated by that answer, saying CPS should be looking into other revenue streams before making deep cuts to schools.

“How about TIFs,” one audience member shouted at Cawley, referring to tax increment financing (TIF) funds.

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
2:48pm
Thu Aug 1, 2013

U.S. Rep. Rush Seeks Federal Funding To End Trauma Center Deserts

For Michael Dye, the death of his best friend is still raw. Dye wonders if his friend, 19 year-old Kevin Ambrose, would be alive today if Chicago’s South Side had a level-1 adult trauma center.

“We actually beat the ambulance to the hospital which was like a 30- to 45-minute ride at 11 p.m., which was surprising to me,” Dye said in detailing Ambrose's ambulance ride to Stroger Hospital after having been shot near the Green Line stop near 43rd Street in May.

Dye wondered why his friend wasn’t taken to either Provident Hospital or the University of Chicago (U of C) Medical Center. Instead, Ambrose, a Columbia College theatre student, was taken to Stroger, which is located nearly seven miles away from where he was shot — and is where he later died.

“It really hurts personally because Kevin’s chances of living would have been at a higher rate if he was taken to U of C or Provident or any other trauma center on the South Side, if we had one,” Dye, also 19, said.

Quick Hit
by
3:48pm
Mon Aug 15, 2011

South Siders Revive Fight For U Of C Trauma Center (VIDEO)

Young leaders on the South Side are once again pushing for emergency care. A group by the name Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY) is calling on the University of Chicago’s Medical Center to operate a trauma center.

The latest movement is a “Tent City” protest situated in front of the medical center, just one year after one of the group's members died from a gunshot wound.

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