This Week in Ed 1.12.18: Hearing on school closings, special ed

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CPS Community Meetings on school closings start

CPS held the first round of community meetings this week on their proposed school actions. We attended and live tweeted the following meetings: NTA, Hirsch HS colocation with a religious charter school, Ogden-Jenner merger (which was the one proposal guided and informed by the community), and Englewood HS closings (CPS plans to close the 4 neighborhood high schools in Englewood leaving a one year gap before the new high school is built which will start with only incoming freshman.)

Read our tweets from the meetings by scrolling through our Twitter page. We also created a Storify of some tweets from the two nights of community meetings. We spoke at the NTA, Englewood and Hirsch meetings. You can read RYH statements here.

Press coverage:

Sun-Times: CPS meeting on Englewood Schools devolves into rowdy shouting match

ABC 7: CPS parents get into heated debate over plan to close 4 Englewood schools

South Side Weekly: Steering Englewood’s Schools

WBEZ: Controversy Around School Closings Heighten At CPS Hearings

Tribune: Chicago Public Schools unveils boundaries for planned South Loop high school

CPS Community meetings continue next week on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. You can see the complete list of school actions, meeting dates, times, and locations, as well as transition plans here. Click on “School Actions.”

Special ed hearings!

  • It was announced Wednesday that the City Council Education Committee will hold a hearing on CPS special education this Friday, January 12, at 2:30pm at City Hall, Council Chambers, 2nd floor. This is, of course, terrible timing for families who have to pick their kids up from school, but it's when the education committee was willing to set the meeting. Please let us know if you can make this hearing! CPS officials will be there to answer questions of aldermen. There should be a short time slot for public testimony, too.

Tribune: Morning Spin: Aldermen get their chance to blast CPS special education cuts

  • In addition, the IL House is having a hearing on Friday, January 19, at 10am at the Bilandic Building, 60 N LaSalle St, Room C-600, 6th floor. (This hearing is SEPARATE from the ISBE investigation which will also require parent testimony. We do not know these dates yet.) Please let us know if you can make this hearing!

We know it's a lot to follow. Email us if you have any questions, and let us know if you can make either the City Council Ed Committee hearing on 1/12 or the IL House hearing on 1/19: Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates as they happen.

Also, you can fill out this google form if your child has had issues getting special ed services in the past year. This will help us get in touch with you!

Do you want to help us flyer about the ISBE investigation at your school? Let us know. We need your help!

Flyer in English. Flyer in Spanish.

Rauner vetoes education funding bill--after supporting for it

Governor Rauner vetoed a trailer bill to the education funding bill which could jeopardize new funding for schools because he wants more private schools included in the tax-credit scholarship (neo-voucher) program.  You can read more about this here:

Tribune: Rauner vetoes education funding bill over private school concerns

NPR Illinois: Gov Vetoes School Funding Trailer Bill

Sun-Times: Democrat backs Rauner’s scholarship veto, but gov’s school list raises questions

Save the date! Public forum on school level ratings

In partnership with multiple organizations, we are hosting a public forum: What Makes a School Great...And Do Level Ratings Measure It? Chicago schools live and die by their level ratings. Ratings drive enrollment and resources and are used to justify closings. What if communities created a rating system to helpschools, students and families? What would a rating system designed to decrease sorting, segregation, and inequity look like?

Find out more about the forum & RSVP here. Please share the Facebook event page to your own page, invite people, and share on your school’s Facebook page. Download a pdf flyer to print here.

A heartfelt thank you!

We really appreciate our veteran recurring donors, our new recurring donors, and the so many of you who answered our pleas during our end of the year 2017 fundraising efforts! We do so much on a small budget and your monetary support as well as your time and talents keep us going. Thank you.

If you appreciate what we do, please consider becoming a 2018 recurring donor!

In other news

Sun-Times: CPS wants ethics rules, state law changed so board member Rivera can become COO NOTE: Please see Upcoming Events below with details on a public hearing that CPS must host about these ethics rules and state law changes.

Chicago Reader: Roosevelt High: Why does Arnie Kamen keep coming back?(From 1992 but still relevant!)

Sun-Times: DOUBEK: Aldermen, do your job and ask the hard questions

Tribune: New documentary highlights refugees’ soccer triumph at Chicago’s Sullivan High

Sun-Times: Chicago Teachers Union: CPS’ proposed school closings would violate our contract

WBEZ: Congress Changed 529 College Savings Plans, And Now States Are Nervous

VoxWe can draw school zones to make classrooms less segregated. This is how well your district does.

CityLabWhy can't public schools keep the heat on?

Upcoming Events

⟹ CPS Community Meetings & Public Hearings on CPS Proposed School Actions

At the link above, click on the “School Actions” tab for full list of proposed school actions as well as 2 community meetings and 1 hearing for each proposed action.

January 2018

Various locations

⟹ January Monthly Meeting: Chicago Unelected Board of Ed

Online registration to speak or observe Mon Jan 22, 10:30am

Meeting Wed Jan 24, 10:30am

CPS, 42 W. Madison

Please contact us at if you need more information or advice.

⟹ Public hearing: Chicago Unelected Board of Ed

Registration to speak or observe in person Wed Jan 24, 7:30-8:00am

Meeting Wed Jan 24, 8:30am

CPS, 42 W. Madison

Please contact us at if you need more information or advice.

“The purpose of said hearing will be to receive public comment on a proposed application to modify a portion of Section 34-21.3 of the School Code for a period of two school years (for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years) to allow a Board Member to be employed by the Board of Education no sooner than thirty (30) calendar days after the expiration or other termination of his term of office as a member of the board.”

⟹ LSC Candidate Summit--Save the Date! More details coming soon.

LSC Elections are coming in April 2018. Find out how to run and learn about current educational issues in Chicago.

Sat Feb 10, 10:00am

National Teachers Academy (NTA), 55 W. Cermak

⟹ What Makes A School Great? Public Forum

Hosted by Raise Your Hand, Fair Test, CTU, CTU Foundation, CUE, Generation All, Parents 4 Teachers

Mon Feb 12, 7:00pm

Kenwood High School, 5015 S. Blackstone

Please RSVP at the link above!