Community Organizations across Chicago Urge CPS to Vote Against Proposed Charter Expansion and Refocus on Protection/Funding of Neighborhood Schools

What: Following the closure of 50 neighborhood schools due to budget and a so-called “underutilization crisis,” parents and community members are furious at the proposal for the creation of 21 new charter schools, which will come up for vote at the School Board on January 22nd – bringing the total numbers of potential new CPS charter schools to 31 in the next two years.

Held in the Brighton Park community, this public forum will bring together community groups, area professors, parents and students from around the city to shed light on the facts surrounding rapid charter proliferation and the harm it is causing to district schools. The forum will address action steps to halt this expansion.

Date: Tuesday, January 14
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Shields Middle School, 2611 W. 48th Street

Why: Despite tremendous CPS budget cuts, a one billion dollar deficit and the recent closing of 50 neighborhood schools, the Board is planning to vote to open up to 31 new charter schools in the next two years. Parents and community members are outraged as neighborhood schools continue to receive funding cuts that have forced elimination of critical teaching and support positions as well as fundamental education programming.

Topics will include:
· Charter impact on special education
· Financing issues and lack of transparency with charter budgets
· Academic performance of charters vs. neighborhood schools

Speakers and supporters to include:
· Students who have been counseled out of charters will offer testimony.
· Researchers:
· Members from the following organizations will be present: Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Albany Park Neighborhood Council, Blocks Together, Raise Your Hand, Parents4Teachers, Teachers for Social Justice,

Contact: If you plan to attend this event or have any questions, please contact Wendy Katten at 773-704-0336,

Amy Smolensky