AM News: Big Week Ahead

Critical Week Ahead for City School Reform NYT
"The process -- from recommendation to the Board of Education vote -- is
probably no more than a month," said Alderman Pat Dowell (3rd Ward),
who co-sponsored the resolution in response to complaints of too little
community involvement. "That's unfair."

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Chicago Public Schools Board will vote to close school in West Lincoln Park LP Now
Although
parents like Lister and Nielsen are clearly passionate about saving
Prescott, a lack of greater interest from the West Lincoln Park
community seems to have left the fate of the school in the hands of the
Board of Education's vote on Wednesday.

Frustrated schools advertising how much they're owed Sun Times
The
cash-starved State of Illinois is months late and more than $700
million behind in paying its education bills, and at some school
districts, taxpayers don't have to go far to find out exactly how much
their schools are owed.

Spoke word poetry key to unlock student potential
Tribune
Many
of the talented teenagers who join Peter Kahn's Spoken Word Club at Oak
Park and River Forest High School do so because they have pressing
needs -- a need to be heard, to create, to express themselves and their
struggles in rhythm and rhyme....

Lesson from the street: Don't back down Tribune
Brandon
Barnes and Derri Enoch squared off in the center of the street, their
faces knotted with anger. Barnes, tall and slender, raised his fists
and promised to level his close friend with a shot to the jaw. Enoch
dropped his hands and dared him to do...

For Many Latina Teens, Gang Life Adds to Stress NYT
The experiences of a young Hispanic girl, formerly a gang member, typify the pressures such girls face.

Teen charged in shooting after police gain witnesses' trust Tribune
The
shooting left Perteet a quadriplegic, requiring him to undergo
long-term rehabilitation and home-schooling until the Chicago Public
Schools can accommodate him.

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  • I thought that Ms. Rossi wrote a good article on the impact of the State of Illinois being broke on numerous school districts. While the impact of the failure of the Illinois State comptroller's office is huge on big districts like U-46 and CPS it is even more devastating on small poor districts such as Madison CUSD 12 located in Madison Illinois. Its enrollment is 90.9% black and 88.2% poor. The school district has property wealth per student of only $30,221 and a school tax rate of 7.20. Some discussion of the impact on small poor districts would have been useful.

    The article leaves out why Dan Hynes' office is not paying, the comptroller discussed the problems with Illinois education funding as far back as April 2009 (see http://www.apps.ioc.state.il.us/ioc-pdf/ffweb0409.pdf ).

    The truth is if Comptroller Hynes paid these school districts what the state owes them neither he, nor Governor Quinn, nor thousands of other state employees could be paid. It seems as though it has suddenly dawned on the Civic Federation that the State of Illinois is bankrupt, because in a report released today they are calling for an income tax increase from 3 percent to 5 percent for individuals, that retirees' pension and Social Security checks be taxed for the first time at the same rate as workers' paychecks, and the tax on cigarettes be raised by another $1 per pack. The Civic Federation also claims to favor getting rid of $181 million in corporate tax breaks and wants to make all state workers pay much more for all benefits.

    Because the Civic Federation report is over 100 pages I need to read it before commenting further. Parents, teachers, and community activists here in Chicago need to prepare themselves for what is coming and that is budget cuts. Since Ms. Rossi mentions U-46 prominently in her article it should be noted that unlike CPS, U-46 created a public budget task force to discuss possible cuts. Each of the cuts was publicly ranked for the negative impact it would have on that school district for all to see. I think CPS should be doing the same thing, and I would very much like to be on that task force. I think groups not only like the Civic Federation, CTU, the Chicago Federation of Labor, the Civic Committee, and similar higher profile organizations should be on such a task force, but numerous community groups from Operation Push, the Urban League, to groups like PURE, Designs for Change, major Hispanic organizations, and others should be represented.

    For once I would like to see some transparency in the CPS budget process. Would every one be happy with the outcome of such a process, I would think not. But it would be far better than having the cuts handed down exclusively from the central office.

    Rod Estvan

  • daley opposes one-year moratorium, according to this update from wbez

    http://www.wbez.org/Content.aspx?audioID=40198

    /ar

  • cbs2 reports that the debate continues, though i'm guessing this is a little bit behind the curve

    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=7291668

    anyone know what happened?

  • tribune reports huberman pledge to make closings work better -- but not to a moratorium

    http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/02/huberman-school-closure-selection-process-needs-reform.html

    /ar

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    How could Ron Huberman say with a straight face that the public needed more say in the school actions process and then leave with his entourage the moment the public was allowed to speak at that hearing? Incredible.

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    hilarious writeup of the hearing from the reader's mick dumke explaining how ald. munoz disrupted the proceedings to press for community input that ald. thomas intitially didn't want to allow --

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/TheBlog/archives/2010/02/22/how-open-is-an-open-council-meeting

    dumke also notes how infrequently the education committee has met / been involved in education policy over the past few years.

    /ar

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    no final vote on the nonbinding moratorium resolution, notes catalyst's sarah karp -- making everyone wonder what the point was

    http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/index.php/entry/559

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