Mayor Emanuel announced plans to build a new $60 million school named after the current President, using TIF funding. But not everyone thinks it’s a good idea. What do you think?
For starters, there are already lots of schools named after Obama, and some of them aren’t particularly high-performing ones. An informal and entirely unconfirmed list of other districts with Obama schools includes Milwaukee, St. Paul, Plainfield (NJ), Pittsburgh, Oakland, LAUSD (Barack Obama Global Preparation Academy).
Apparently there are already more Obama schools than named after both Bushes, Clinton, Carter, and Ford. Reagan has 13. At least one of them — in Broward County — has already been closed.
It’s going to be the 11th selective enrollment school — not a neighborhood one.
The use of TIF funding is controversial, of course.
Naming a school after a living individual is always risky business.
Then again, there’s a shortage of seats in existing SE schools, and a dearth of college-educated families who keep their kids in CPS through high school. Obama is closely identified with Chicago. He’ll be done with his second term about the same time as the new school opens.
Lots of coverage:
New Chicago high school to be named for Obama Chicago Tribune
CPS to build selective-enrollment high school named for Obama Chicago Sun-Times
Obama Beats Bush in School Names ABC News
Obama’s Getting A Chicago High School Named After Him Huffington Post
Chicago to name high school after President Obama New York Daily News