|Image from Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times|
Ignoring the wishes of many South Loop parents and their alderman, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday that the old Jones College Prep High School building will not be converted to a neighborhood school but instead will double the number of students allowed to test in.
Jones College Prep students are scheduled to move a block south in the fall into a new, $115 million building, according to Chicago Public Schools. Parents in the footprint of the selective enrollment school, 606 S. State, have asked that the existing building be renovated into a school open to any child living in the neighborhood, regardless of academic prowess.
Instead, Emanuel and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett opted to double the capacity of Jones, they said at the school Tuesday. By 2016, Jones will hold 1,700 high school students from across the city who make the academically competitive cut, with students housed in the current building and the new one. Jones has about 900 students enrolled now.The bright side is that they're not demolishing the old Jones College Prep building. The dark side is that it really isn't benefiting neighborhood residents. Local residents will still only get 300 seats set aside for them, which many believe won't keep up with the changing demographics of the neighborhood.
Alderman Fioretti and local parents/residents think this will cause middle class families to leave for the burbs. We tend to agree with this theory.
What do you think about this new announcement?