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.
Back in 2012, the Chicago Board of Education voted to phase out Dyett due to poor academic performance. The school, located in the Washington Park community, closed in June after its final senior class of just 13 students graduated.
For nearly two years, the coalition has been advocating for its community-driven plan to turn Dyett into a "global leadership and green technology" open-enrollment high school. Members of the coalition, spearheaded by the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, were also on the frontlines protesting the initial decision to phase out Dyett.
Progress Illinois provides highlights from the Chicago Teachers Union's Tuesday rally for a "fair contract," during which participants also called for "fair-share" revenue solutions to tackle the fiscal issues facing the city and state.