RYH Statement at the November 2020 CPS Board of Ed Meeting

Our prepared statement is below- or will be by late in the morning. The meeting will be live streamed on the CPS YouTube Channel starting at 10:30AM. Sometimes they are a few minutes late so keep refreshing the page until the live feed shows up. You can follow us on Twitter for some live tweeting: @ILRaiseYourHand. For more live tweets, please follow the #ChiDocumenter assigned to the meeting. Press coverage is far below. 

Do you have a comment you want to share with the CPS BOE? Visit www.cpsboe.org, scroll down to “Written Comments” and click on “Board Meeting Nov 18 Form." This link takes you to a Google form. If you have trouble accessing the form your CPS child might be logged into their CPS account on your device- log them off, then proceed again. This form will close Th, Oct 29, 5PM.

Jianan Shi, RYH's Executive Director

Good afternoon y’all and happy LSC election day.

While we are in the middle of a pandemic, CPS is continuing to entertain the idea of closing down 3 elementary schools in North Lawndale. Schools that on average are 95% Black and 90% low income. Parents should not have to be calling in today, spending their nights and weekends to fight to keep their schools open. During a pandemic. 

We stand with the North Lawndale parents and community members in rejecting the NLCCC’s current proposal and instead ask that those proposed investments be distributed across the three schools. 

Like the fight at National Teachers Academy, the community must continue to reject false choices. Schools are anchors and potential school actions like these destabilize the area. Closing down schools actually works counter to some of the other NLCCC’s goals such as improved home ownership and attracting outside investment. The 3 schools’ attendance areas are the same areas where they are seeking to reduce the number of vacant units and lots. Who will come if you close them down? Can we invest in Black and Brown communities without taking anything away? This continues to reveal the lack of equitable city wide facilities planning. 

The current proposal has requested at least $65 million and has gathered over 20 partnerships, why can’t we invest that across all 3 current schools?


Regarding CPS Reopening

According to the last family opt in form, 66% of pre-K and cluster families did not want to go back. Virtual learning must continue to be improved. This is also an issue of public trust. Parents are being left out of the process and are instead watching labor disputes, changing health metrics and their questions left unanswered. Unless that changes, I don't see how parents who are being asked to decide during the third wave, will opt to send their student in.

Thank you. 


Press coverage of the meeting:

Sun-TimesCPS plans to regularly test staff for COVID-19 after schools reopen

WTTW: CPS: Education Equity Remains An Issue Through First Quarter

Chalkbeat ChicagoIn fall attendance and grades, Chicago officials see a case for reopening

Sun-TimesCPS students getting more A’s — but also more F’s as remote learning continue

Chicago TribuneAs grades and attendance slip, CPS places hopes on schools reopening, citing risk of ‘losing an entire generation of students’

ABC 7: Chicago Public Schools Board meets after announcement of reopening in-person learning

WBEZ: Ousted Principal Who Oversaw Controversial Merger Of Two Schools Reaches Settlement With CPS

Chalkbeat ChicagoDrive-ups, delays, and a trickle of voters mark unusual school council election in Chicago