Before today’s Board of Education hearing, elected officials and parent and community groups will stand outside CPS headquarters in opposition to charter school expansion in Chicago and throughout Illinois (Board Agenda).
Education group Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education (RYH) asked elected officials to sign letters to Gov. Bruce Rauner, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Mayor Rahm Emanuel opposing the new charters, “24 of which would be in Chicago and 24 in the rest of the state,” the release from RYH says. Their estimate includes schools that would be built with the help of a $42 million federal grant the state won last fall that ISBE says will be used for “planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools in Illinois.”
A resolution submitted to City Council’s Education Committee last fall called on ISBE and the Chicago Board of Education “to jointly impose moratorium on charter school expansion for 2015-2016 school year.” The measure had 42 co-sponsors, including Ald. Howard Brookins (21), the newly-appointed chair of the Education Committee. The measure has since gone stale. Brookins is not listed among signees of the moratorium letter, but RYH’s Wendy Katten said outreach to elected officials on this issue was hampered in part by Spring Break, and is still ongoing.
Brookins did not respond to Aldertrack’s request for comment, but when asked about charter school expansion when he was appointed to chair the committee earlier this month, Brookins said, “Right now I am looking for [CPS CEO] Forrest Claypool and people at CPS to come up with a comprehensive strategy as to how and where they should open more schools, albeit charter or regular public schools, and how do we pay for them? I would like to see the why and the how. Why we need more schools and how do we pay for them?”
Signees (22): Joe Moreno (1), Pat Dowell (3), Leslie Hairston (5), Susan Sadlowski Garza (10), George Cardenas (12), Raymond Lopez (15), Ricardo Munoz (22), Michael Zalewski (23), Roberto Maldonado (26), Chris Taliaferro (29), Milly Santiago (31), Scott Waguespack (32), Deb Mell (33), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35), Gilbert Villegas (36), Nick Sposato (38), Anthony Napolitano (41), John Arena (45), James Cappleman (46), Ameya Pawar (47), Harry Osterman (48), Debra Silverstein (50)