Monday, June 27, 2022

CPS CEO Pulls Funding for Proposed South Loop High School ; Says More Time & Community Engagement Needed

In case you missed it last week, more delays and uncertainty around next steps with a "South Loop High School" (via Chicago Tribune):

Hours before the Chicago Board of Education was poised to vote Wednesday on the $9.4 billion budget for the coming school year, Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez pulled a $120 million line item for a proposed high school that would serve Chinatown, Bridgeport and South Loop.

“Conversations for the need of a neighborhood high school in the Near South have been happening for a decade now, with many advocates and community leaders urging CPS to take this step. Our team has done a great job in showing the need, with our Black students attending 95 different high schools and our Asian students traveling some of the longest distances across to other neighborhood schools,” Martinez said at Wednesday’s monthly board meeting.

Though planning is still in the early stages, critics railed against the proposal for utilizing money promised to a different neighborhood and spending millions on a new school instead of improving the high schools in the area. CPS also has come under fire for exploring building the school in the footprint of the former Ickes Homes public housing complex without first seeking feedback from residents who live near there.

Unfortunately the bureaucratic process and various groups CPS is trying to appease will continue to cause challenges.  Read the article and it's not hard to understand why this is difficult.  Regardless - it's frustrating for parents who across the board and likely is a reason why people flee the city.

This has been going on for decades - apparently 25 years by estimates of Chinatown leaders - and it seems like we're back to the drawing board.  Yikes!  

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