Tag Archives: Chicago Public Schools

Community Leaders Protest For Higher Funding For CPS

CHICAGO (CBS) — A coalition of community, education and labor leaders protested at City Hall Thursday for higher funding for Chicago’s Public Schools. Andrea Ortiz with the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council says the need for more funding for CPS is obvious. “Over the course of two years, our schools have lost almost half a billion dollars. That’s already on top of previous cuts that we have been facing for years. Along with these cuts, we have seen dramatic decrease in councilors, teachers, art programs — on top of other resources essential to providing an equitable education to our youth.” Ald. Geroge Cardenas (12th) is co-sponsoring an ordinance that would raise money by reimposing the city head tax and dedicating more development funds. “If we want to attain that dream of having one Chicago, then we need to be equitable.” Mayor Rahm Emanuel is against bringing back the corporate head tax. CPS officials announced Wednesday their plan to raise city property taxes by $225 million this year, which is nearly as much as last year, and also the limit allowed under state law. “I’m not enthusiastic about raising taxes. On the other hand, I am enthusiastic about education,” he said. ” I am enthusiastic about the state finally stepping up and treating the children of Chicago fairly and equitably, and I am for the state of Illinois finally contributing to the teachers’ pensions of Chicago like they do for everybody else down state.”

Emanuel Reluctant About CPS Raising Property Taxes By $225M

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expressing reluctance about Chicago Public Schools raising city property taxes by $225 million this year. However, he is also defending the move. The schools are hiking property taxes by nearly as much as last year, which is the limit allowed under state law. And Mayor Emanuel says he’s not taking the decision lightly. “I’m not enthusiastic about raising taxes. On the other hand, I am enthusiastic about education,” he said. ” I am enthusiastic about the state finally stepping up and treating the children of Chicago fairly and equitably, and I am for the state of Illinois finally contributing to the teachers’ pensions of Chicago like they do for everybody else down state.” The mayor says he is against letting pension debt become a drain on CPS and taxpayers alike, so this combined revenue will make for a more stable future. CPS officials announced the take hike on Wednesday.

CPS Drops Suit Against State

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Public Schools system has agreed to drop its lawsuit against the state over education funding. The suit accused the sate of using separate and unequal systems for funding for public education. It asserted that violated the civil rights of Chicago’s predominantly minority student population. The dismissal was made without prejudice, meaning Chicago Public Schools can choose to refile the case.

State Of The Art Facilities Unveiled At Three Chicago Schools

Chicago (CBS) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and school officials presented three new state-of-the-art facilities within the system. At Audubon Elementary, it was a new elementary park. The entire campus is new at the Mansueto College Prep High School in Brighton Park. That’s where Mayor Emanuel helped cut the ribbon. “This is a gorgeous building. And what’s gorgeous about it is not just its architecture,” said Emanuel. “What’s gorgeous is the futures that are going to be built here.” “We are going to do everything we possibly can, every single staff member in this building, to ensure that every single child has the absolute best instruction that this city has to offer,” said Darko Simunovic, principal at Mansueto High School. Also new are modular classrooms at Dawes Elementary School.

Police To Get Rid Of “Booking Rooms” in Illinois Schools

Chicago (WBBM) — Michelle Mbekeani-Wiley, an attorney with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law says the problem is that dozens of schools in Illinois have rooms specifically set aside for police to book students involved in some kind of problem or flight. “Chicago Public Schools alone reported to having over 2,000 school related arrests on school grounds in recent school years,” said Mbekeani-Wiley. Autry Phillips, Director of the Target Area Development Corporation, says the new law bans the booking rooms and he hopes the arrests will go down. “It’s not so much the dismantling of a room but the dismantling of the process,” said Phillips. “What we want to do is start bringing the parents back to school instead of law enforcement.” The advocates say that way they can handle discipline the way all the other schools do.  

‘One Goal’ Program Helping At-Risk Students On Path To College

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago non-profit aimed at helping at-risk students get into and graduate college is proving to be a success. “One Goal” is aimed at students with a 2.7 GPA or lower, and after eight years working with students at the Chicago Public Schools, it appears to be working. “I was actually not sure what I was going to do, not planning to go in college. I was actually thinking of like a supermarket; just to pay my bills, and my phone, and my car,” said Jorge Flores, who started the program three years ago. Now, Flores said he wants to be a psychiatrist, and he said his drastic turnaround was solely due to his work with the One Goal program. “I did not like to be in school. I would just draw and not pay attention. I would not do homework, most of it, and I would leave school sometimes,” he said. One Goal is a three-year in-school training program offered to select students with a 2.7 GPA or lower in their sophomore year. Students have to write an essay to get into the program. Executive director Sarah Berghorst said junior year of high school through the end of freshman year of college is make-or-break time for success stories. “Looking at the data, those three years are the years that we lose most students as a country in the transition,” she said. Berghorst said, starting in their first year of the program, One Goal students focus their mindset on college. “Why they want college, their sense of belonging, their sense of self advocacy,” she said. While working to boost their GPA and standardized test scores so they are more competitive when applying for college, in their second year with One Goal, students focus on college applications and financial aid. In year three, they stay in contact with One Goal instructors while starting college. The program checks in on their academic standing, financial aid, and social life. For Flores, now a sophomore majoring in psychology at National Louis University, One Goal was the only goal he needed. “One Goal is not like a group, it’s more like a family. You meet people. Your teacher becomes like a mom, and your friends become like brothers and sisters,” he said. “I would not believe I would be standing here in college. I think I would’ve been somewhere else; like in the street, or you never know.” One Goal is mostly funded through private donations. The program currently serves approximately 5,000 students at 80 open-enrollment schools in Chicago. For more information on the program, click here.

As CPS Begins New Year, Union Seeking To Restore Slashed Funding

CHICAGO (CBS) — Although Chicago Public Schools were starting the school year on stable financial ground for the first time in years, the teachers’ union and others were still demanding more money for the district after years of cutbacks.

The new school year begins without the threat of a teachers’ strike, or a funding crisis that could force mid-year spending cuts, but the Chicago Teachers Union – and many parents and students – have said CPS still needs more money.

At a protest rally outside Thomas Kelly High School, activists demanded CPS restore funding cuts that were forced on schools over the past few years.

“That includes counselors, teachers, a clean building, after-school programs, and updated text books,” said Andrea Ortiz, of the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council.

Protesters said Kelly was one of the schools hit hardest by CPS budget cuts in recent years, losing almost $2 million in funding, 23 teachers, and other staff.

“Today, we stand in solidarity with Kelly High School community, as devastating cuts in funds and teachers have left thousands of students drastically short,” said CTU financial secretary Maria Moreno.

CTU repeatedly has called on the city to reinstate a “head tax” on businesses, and use surplus tax increment financing funds to increase funding for CPS so recent years’ spending cuts can be restored.

CPS Ready To Start New Year Without Funding Questions; No Threat Of Strike

CHICAGO (CBS) — Summer 2017 has shifted to the rear view mirror, and it’s time for Chicago Public Schools students to go back to class.

Parents and students are starting the new school year with a bit less concern than years past.

Unlike the last few years, there is no looming threat of a teachers’ strike, and thanks to a last-minute deal to fund public schools statewide, no uncertainty about whether there will be cuts to school spending in the middle of the year.

Addie Peckler is ready and anxious to start 2nd grade. The 7-year-old East Side resident is in the gifted program at Jane Addams Elementary School, located two blocks from her home.

“We love it, and all the teachers are great,” said her mother, Rosemary Peckler.

Rosemary said it’s great not having to worry as much about whether her daughter’s school has enough money to make it through the whole year.

“I hope it stays stable. That’s all we can hope for, because you never really know,” she said.

After years of financial uncertainty, the apparent stability to start the school year is due to a statewide education bill approved by lawmakers and the governor last week. CPS would get up to $450 million more than last year under the new funding plan, if it exercises the authority to raise property taxes by up to $163 million.

“Not only are we going to have a full school year and a full school day, we’re going to make sure that it’s done, because now the state actually is living up to the responsibility,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

The mayor and CPS Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool said there is another reason for optimism entering the new school year. Claypool said the district’s 5-year graduation rate has increased from the mid 50s in 2011 to 77 percent in 2017, with some of the biggest gains among African-American males.
Adam Goldstein’s daughters are fourth generation CPS students. He said he agrees the state school funding plan helps alleviate concerns from years past, but he still has others.

“CPS still continues to borrow money at alarming rates, and I don’t think it’s sustainable in the long run,” he said.

The Chicago Teachers Union said all the back-slapping from politicians who worked on the new education funding deal is premature. The union said, although the new school funding formula generates $350 million in new revenue for schools across the state, Illinois really needs about $5 billion.

CTU planned to hold a rally Tuesday morning to protest CPS funding which the union believes is still inadequate.

Chance The Rapper Directs $2.2 Million To CPS Schools

By Diamaris Martino

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chance The Rapper announced Friday that his not-for-profit is donating $2.2 million to Chicago Public Schools, saying the funds will go to 20 Chicago public schools for arts and music programming.

chance Chance The Rapper Directs $2.2 Million To CPS Schools

Chance The Rapper unveils plans to award arts grants to Chicago schools. (CBS)

“As a parent and proud product of CPS, I’m committed to helping Chicago’s children have a quality learning experience that include the arts,” Chance said in a statement.

“The New Chance Arts & Literature Fund” will provide $100,000 to 20 public schools over the next three years. The funds will help increase student access to arts education. Some schools say they plan to use the money for music and dance classes or spoken word poetry in literature classes.

Chance said a “quality education for public school students is the most important investment a community can make.”

The recording artist began raising money for public education after CPS faced steep budget reductions.

Previously, Chance pledged $1 million to CPS, and his charity pledged $100,000. Last month, at the Bud Billiken Day Parade, Chance and SocialWorks gave away 30,000 backpacks filled with school supplies.

The 20 schools getting the latest grants are:

Ambrose Plamondon Elementary

Mireles Elementary Academy

C.E. Hughes Elementary

Edward White Career Academy

Edmond Burke Elementary

Esmond Elementary

Corliss High School

Aldridge Elementary

Fiske Elementary

Greenleaf Whittier Elementary

Beethoven Elementary

Mahalia Jackson Elementary

Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School

Ninos Heroes Elementary

Orr Academy High School

Oglesby Elementary

Robert A. Black Magnet Elementary

Dett Elementary

Spry Community Links High School

W.K. New Sullivan Elementary

Feds: Chicago Teacher Supplied Ammunition, Gun Accessories To Felon

(CBS) – Federal agents have arrested a 53-year-old Chicago Public Schools teacher for allegedly supplying ammunition and gun accessories to a convicted felon, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago announced Wednesday.

Brent Turpin, a special education teacher at an elementary school Englewood, was arrested Tuesday, authorities said. He faces one count of conspiracy to dispose of a firearm and ammunition to a known felon, and one count of disposing of ammunition to a known felon.

Turpin illegally supplied an extended handgun magazine, a laser sight and two boxes of ammunition to an informant who was cooperating with the FBI, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed in federal court in Chicago.

The teacher allegedly supplied the equipment to the informant earlier this month in Turpin’s residence on the South Side of Chicago, the complaint states.

Federal authorities, in outlining their case, say Turpin tried to “secure” two handguns for the informant at a gun show in Indiana earlier this summer. Turpin allegedly instructed the informant to say he was from Indiana. A gun deal did not happen because Turpin declined to present his driver’s license, the complaint says.

Turpin was scheduled to appear in federal court this afternoon.

The FBI was investigating Turpin because he was suspected of dealing firearms to felons and juvenile gang members, according to a federal affidavit. The informant used in the investigation was an acquaintance of Turpin’s and a juvenile in Turpin’s care, authorities say.

The unnamed informant was paid $8,170 for his help, according to the affidavit. The individual also received a reduced sentence in another case.