Will Obama Gun Safety Plan Help?

Today's news includes lots of reaction and response to the Obama gun safety initiative rolled out yesterday morning, plus some pepper spray (at an elementary school) and gunplay (outside Chicago State).  There's a shortage of substitutes. DNAI has stories about Ames and McPherson.  MSNBC has a story about Chicago Bulls College Prep.  What else?  Let us know.

OBAMA PLAN

Violence-Riddled Chicago Hopes Gun Proposals Will Help Shield It NPR: There were more than 500 homicides in the city last year. Officials and residents are counting on President Obama's gun control package to bring that number down. "We didn't want other parents to be like us," says one Chicago mom, whose son was shot to death on a city bus.

What do Obama's executive orders on gun control mean for schools? The Courier-Journal: Obama says he wants to create a safer climate at schools across the country. The White House document says that with technical assistance from the Department of Education, 18,000 schools have already put in place evidence-based strategies to improve.

MAYHEM!?

Spray sends 7 students to hospitals Chicago Tribune: The student responsible was removed from the school, Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Marielle Sainvilus said in a statement. Officials initially said the item was pepper spray, but they later said they could not confirm what was in the liquid that ...

Two in custody after man killed outside Chicago State University Chicago Tribune: A 20-year-old man was shot and killed outside a Chicago Public Schools high school basketball game at Chicago State University Wednesday night after a melee broke out in a handshake line after the game. The man was taken in serious condition to ...

2 arrested in fatal shooting outside Simeon-Morgan Park hoops gameSun Times: A 20-year-old man died late Wednesday night, hours after he was shot outside Chicago State University’s gym after a high school basketball game on the South Side campus.

 

TEACHERS

Chicago Public Schools Struggling to Find Subs Chicago Defender: Many Chicago Public Schools are struggling to find substitutes to teach students when teachers are absent — a problem which surfaced even before a flu outbreak struck the city, according to DNAinfo.com.

Chicago Public Schools Struggling to Find Subs DNAI: District is waging an "aggressive recruiting campaign" to find fill-ins for sick or absent teachers.

As funding debate continues, parents still divided on charter schools MSNBC: According to the Chicago Public Schools' 2013 budget, charter schools will see a 13% increase in funding this year. Noble Network, a Chicago network of charter schools that includes Chicago Bulls College Prep, is expected to receive $69.9 million.

SCHOOLS

Parents say Alderman, Schools Chief Agree to Meet Over Military School DNAinfo
In another small victory for Ames parents and volunteers, CPS chief executive officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett wrote that she, too, would be willing to meet with them. In response to an email demanding answers from the group, the schools chief wrote:

McPherson LSC Renews Principal's Contract, With Strings Attached DNAI:Principal Carmen Mendoza is being asked to improve communications and increase parental involvement.

As funding debate continues, parents still divided on charter schools MSNBC: Marsha Godard paid nearly $2,000 in fees to Chicago Bulls College Prep for her 16-year-old son’s disciplinary offenses that included not sitting up straight, and violating the school’s uniform dress code. Godard, whose story we’ve highlighted before, said this week that the rise of charter schools is robbing public schools of necessary funding to help its students learn.

MISC

Rahm Steps Up Fundraising Efforts NBC Chicago: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, who negotiated through this summer's strike on behalf of Chicago Public Schools teachers, might be on the list to run against him. Speculation has it Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle could step ...

 

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  • From today's reports, not only was it a shooting outside of Chicago State, it directly involved the participants in that game. Not just a robbery like the Benjy Wilson story. Other reports mention the enmity between Morgan Park and Simeon.

    What is going on with those students? Is Superintendent Chalmers correct that certain students have to go to Maximum Security School?

  • I think the funding proposal for schools to hire up to 1,000 more school resource officers, school psychologists, social workers, and counselors, as well as make other investments in school safety made by the President is absurd. Let's think about this, the total funding for this proposal according to the article Alexander posted is $150 million for the entire nation. Next fiscal year Governor Quinn will be proposing a $400 million cut to K-12 education in Illinois alone according to the Tribune. Obama's proposal in this area based on funding is less than meaningless.

    One of the 23 executive orders issued by the President yesterday was summarized as: "Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health." We should ask this question in relation to Sec Duncan, when he was CPS CEO what actual things did he do to provide mental health services for CPS students. I am struggling to come up with one, Ron Huberman's culture of calm program, for all its limitations, was actually something that had an impact at a few schools. Sec Duncan as CPS CEO unleashed a cutting frenzy in relation to special education. Year after year he cut supports and services in the name of a balanced budget and now he is to lead us in a dialogue on mental health?

    As to the issues President Obama wants to take before Congress: banning what are called military-style assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, expanding background checks, and toughening gun-trafficking laws. I think he might pass an expansion of background checks for gun shows. I am not even sure Senate Majority leader Harry Reid will call most of the bills for a vote. Senator Reid said yesterday: "Is (a ban on assault weapons) something that can pass the Senate? Maybe Is it something that can pass the House? I doubt it."

    So why would Reid force Senate Democrats to vote on bills that will fail in the House? Let's all recall the history of the reaction to Columbine High School, it was going to cause everything to change right? Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris the shooters at Columbine actually inspired Colorado to pass its concealed carry law in 2003. Last year in a unanimous decision, the Colorado supreme court ruled that the University of Colorado may not forbid licensed concealed carry on its campuses. K–12 schools have special restrictions: Licensed carry is allowed only in automobiles on school property, not in buildings or on sports fields to allow teachers or other staff to go get weapons if needed. Business owners if they wish to may prohibit concealed carry on their business premises. Century Theaters in Aurora was one of those businesses and some gun rights advocates publicly blamed the theater as much as the shooter for what happened in Aurora.

    Lastly, Colorado is now one of 34 states that enacted a statute prohibiting lawsuits against gun companies. But Colorado passed a law regulating gun sales at gun shows to require a background check. If Colorado can get a gun show bill passed I expect President Obama might get it through Congress.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Four words: Show me the appropriations.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I wouldn't let Duncan lead me in a dialog about where to buy pizza, much less education and mental illness/health.

  • Rod: Is this a witch hunt on those with mental illness?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    There are some people with various forms of mental health issues who believe that some of the data base proposals being put forward by the President are very dangerous. Many people with mental health problems do understand that there are people with mental health issues who really should never have access to guns, but believe that blanket rules on this issue are very dangerous.

    Rod Estvan

  • What's this DNAInfo outfit that seems to be all over Chicago education news?

  • Bruce Rauner is running for governor for the State of Illinois.

  • Map: 40 percent of closed schools now privately run

    http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/news/2013/01/15/20741/map-40-percent-closed-schools-now-privately-run

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