Chicagoans flooded the Illinois Capitol Building Tuesday to oppose a measure to extend the Chicago Public Schools’ deadline for announcing proposed school changes to be enforced at the close of the current academic year.
Despite protests, the Illinois House Executive Committee voted unanimously to approve the measure, according to Chicago Catalyst reporter Jim Broadway.
The vote is the first step toward an amendment to Senate Bill 547, which currently requires school changes to be announced by Dec. 1. If passed, CPS will have until March 31 to make the announcement. The Illinois House of Representatives and Senate will still have to approve the measure before it moves to Gov. Pat Quinn to be signed into law, according to Chicago Catalyst.
Concerned residents oppose the move because they say it will give CPS time to plan massive school closure across the city.
Read “Lawmakers vote to give CPS more time to decide school closings” by Chicago Catalyst for the entire story.
Here is a copy of my letter to the Legislature urging them to vote “no” on an extension of the deadline. http://www.scribd.com/doc/114603066/CPS-Needs-A-More-Efficient-Master-Education-Facilities-Planning-Process
The Legislature has approved CPS’ request for and extension. I thank the following West Side representatives for voting No on SB547, the bill to extend the deadline for CPS to release a list of schools to be closed: Representative Arthur Turner, Representative La Shawn K Ford, and Representative Ed
die Winters Representative Camille Lilly voted present. Representative Karen Yarborough voted Yes. All 54 Senators voted yes. Here is a link to the full roll call vote in the House. The House Vote was 84 Yeas; 28 Nays; 2 Present. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/97/house/09700SB0547_11282012_005000T.pdf
Chicago Public Schools signed the Gates compact, which, among other things, requires charters to be funded at the same level as traditional schools. Likewise, they require that CPS prioritize turning over public school buildings to charters in “high need” areas. Typically, Gates requires that school districts close the bottom 25% of their schools and expand charters (not too much different from the 140 schools we’ve been hearing about closing). In return, Chicago will be eligible to compete for up to $7 million in operating funds for charter schools, and up to $20 million construction funds for charter schools, for a maximum of $27 million. This represents less than one half of one percent of CPS’s operating budget. You cannot build 1 school for $27 million. So, you mean to tell me, that CPS, with an assist from the State Legislature will close up to 140 schools in the Black communities around Chicago, and we have to live with the fallout for years to come–FOR LESS THAN THE PRICE OF ONE SCHOOL?