Parents: A Rough Transition From Parochial To Public

ScreenHunter_78 Sep. 21 12.14.gif

A note sent in from a Beverly/Morgan Park parent:  "I recently moved my child from the catholic school to the public school.  I'm shocked that there are classes with 40-42 students!  We have so many children that are coming into the area attending our schools and are not local residents.  From what I'm told our hands are tied so I'm told.  We work hard to make sure our children are in a safe and positive environment and have the tax bills to prove it.  Now we have people who have only a portion of what we pay in taxes bringing in their children in to fill seats and over crowding at our schools.  It is WRONG!  Especially when I hear that the schools in their area have empty class rooms... I pay too much for this and to have someone come in on a free ride and not support the school by being involved and not teaching their children how to behave makes me very angry.  My opinion is that we should not pack them in where kids are sitting around classrooms without a desk because there is no more space.  We have a huge and I mean HUGE field next to the school that could easily make a junior high building and split those 40+ students up."  Agree?  Disagree?  Read the full email below.  

I
recently moved my child from the catholic school to the public school. 
I'm shocked that there are classes with 40-42 students!  We have so
many children that are coming into the area attending our schools and
are not local residents.  From what I'm told our hands are tied so I'm
told.  We work hard to make sure our children are in a safe and positive
environment and have the tax bills to prove it.  Now we have people who
have only a portion of what we pay in taxes bringing in their children
in to fill seats and over crowding at our schools.  It is WRONG! 
Especially when I hear that the schools in their area have empty class
rooms.  So my children are now in class with kids who are not being
taught that you respect adults and how to behave at school.  Although my
children are not the one that the teacher is yelling at they are still
feeling the abuse of it.  I pay too much for this and to have someone
come in on a free ride and not support the school by being involved and
not teaching their children how to behave makes me very angry.  My
opinion is that we should not pack them in where kids are sitting around
classrooms without a desk because there is no more space.  We have a
huge and I mean HUGE field next to the school that could easily make a
junior high building and split those 40+ students up.  The no child left
behind is a bunch of crap.  The school is failing so let's send these
kids over here so they can fail there too.  No one is thinking.  I can't
believe the brand new schools for schools with D's and F's on the
Illinois Report card while the A and B schools are over crowded and old
failing apart buildings.    Someone need to actually take charge and
make a real budget and make our future a priority.  Kids should not be
allowed to leave a school unless there is no room for them.  They should
not squeeze them in the school doing well. Maybe it is the teacher that
needs a change not the student.  I see know why the Chicago public
school system is failing and I know that I will not be apart of it very
long that is for sure.

 

This
area is only going to be filled with those who have to live hear
because those of us who don't will be getting out as soon as possible
and moving to the burbs. 

Comments

Leave a comment
  • So let's see:

    1. Until my child needed to use the local public school I didn't care/were't aware of conditions in it.

    2. The size of your tax bill should determine the quality of education your children get.

    3. Poor children should stay in their own neighborhoods and attend schools that are filled with children that are just as socially deprived as they are.

    OK, check. I see where this parent is coming from and I am appalled. That said, it seems that the schools do not correct for behavior anymore. Teachers seem to spend a lot of time on classroom management and principals don't seem to have much of an impact either. I understand you can't physically discipline a student, buy why not the KIPP method? Make a student wear a miscreant sign or stay after school.

    And if there are 40 students crammed into a classroom for K-grade 3 then that's wrong on the face of it.

  • There is going to be no property tax reform in Springfield this year or next. The Urban League's lawsuit now in court is not likely to lead to significant property tax reducations if it did win. Even if there was some type of statewide reduction in the dependence of school districts on property taxes residents of the city of Chicago pay at such a low rate they would probably experience no reduction. On this issue see the Civic Federation's "Effective Property Tax Rates 1999-2008: Selected Municipalities in Northeastern Illinois."

    http://www.civicfed.org/civic-federation/publications/effective-property-tax-rates-1999-2008-selected-municipalities-northea

    The truth of the matter is from my perspective CPS will in the near term become more dependent than ever on local property tax funds given that our State is bankrupt.

    I can understand the Beverly/Morgan Park parent's concern about over crowding. The problem is not just out of area students being placed in the school for NCLB purposes, but it is also the reality that parents are in some cases transfering from catholic schools to CPS schools in communities that only a few years ago had empty seats. Once out of area students are placed in a school under the NCLB transfer rules it is considered that student's home school until graduation or they transfer out.

    Rod Estvan

  • The parent did not indicate the school, but I think we might be talking about Mount Greenwood Elementary School, or Sutherland. Both I think have had increased enrollments as I recall.

    Rod Estvan

  • Cassel School in Mount Greenwood has over 40 First Graders in one classroom

  • I live in a poor area. My daughter has attended public schools outside the neighborhood. While I cannot afford to live in Beverly, etc, I WORK each and every day and DO pay my fair share of taxes. Unfortunately when one lives in an area that has poor services, and folks with even less have been displaced and disbursed into these same areas, problems arise. Those of us who can make the best of a bad situation and do what we can to help our children. My daughter, who is now in high school at a selective enrollment school, had test scores in the 90th percentile. She works hard in school, scored an ACT composite of 30,and has already been offered scholarships to attend college. I am a divorced parent who did what I felt I needed to do in order to provide the best for my daughter within my limited means. I am sick and tired of people categorizing ALL working poor folks as lazy, good-for-nothings, whose children lack proper motivation and parental support. Believe me, I know PLENTY of middle/upper-middle class parents who won't do HALF of what I do to assist my daughter.

    So, perhaps you do not want your children to attend school with my daughter. That's fine. Why not work to make sure ALL schools have what they need? That way no one will have to come into your neighborhood again.

  • I never mentioned anything about race. My concern was the belief that poor children (regardless of race) should only attend school with other poor children.

    We know what the effect of this kind of segregation is. It is highly negative for schools to have a majority of its students be from poor families. These kinds of high poverty schools are less effective at instructing even the middle class students who attend them.

  • Sorry, and I disagree with you profoundly. The way schools are funded in IL is via the local property tax and state funds. In Chicago, the property tax is assessed on every residence and business in the city. That means that everyone in Chicago pays for all the schools. This implies a right of all citizens in the city to avail themselves of any school (as allowed by the school districts transfer policies).

    If a parent wants to move to a a neighborhood that is safe for their children and has a good public school and wants the right to keep others out of that good public school, they can move to a suburb and hope that it stays safe from "others" moving in that are poorer than them. Usually property values keep the status quo so they should be pretty safe.

Leave a comment