half of Illinois’ approximately 2 million students qualify as low
income, increasing from 37.9 percent to 49 percent since 2008, according
to the ISBE.
“Research tells us that children in areas of
concentrated poverty often experience higher levels of stress and can
exhibit more severe behavioral and emotional problems than children
overall,” the report reads. "These difficulties often impact a child’s likelihood of success in
school, leading to lower achievement scores and higher dropout rates."
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.
Despite the drumbeat of fiscal austerity that lead to other significant social service cuts, the Illinois General Assembly last week actually passed a budget for next year with meaningful increases – yes, increases – in money for key state programs to help the homeless, and those in danger of becoming homeless.
The state did this through taking money from a trust fund reserved for affordable housing. In an ideal world for homeless service providers, money to fund their work would have come from general revenue funds.
More than 120 volunteers in Chicago will be heading to homeless shelters to try to collect names of the city's homeless for a name registry. The effort is part of a nationwide campaign to find 100,000 homes for some of the nation's most vulnerable.