Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Charter School Sneak on the SW Side
By Jim Vail
May 27, 2013

If there's one thing you gotta love during this school closings fiasco drama in Chicago, its the charter school sneak.

It began about a month ago when a charter school operated by the Gulen Movement - a Turkish outfit known for importing some of their own teachers and who operate the Chicago Academy of Math and Science affiliate, tried to ram another charter school into the Ravenswood neighborhood.  

This despite the fact that the Board of Ed had rejected two earlier Gulen charter school proposals. 

Well, they're trying to do it again with the help of Ald. George Cardenas on the southwest side by trying to open another charter school without informing the public, opponents say.

A big turnout at a community event on the north side to oppose the Turkish charter school operator appeared to have stopped it for now.  The fact that school closings supporter and Rahm Emanuel supporter Ald. O'Connor opposed it made the deal dicey to begin with.

But how, you could ask, would a charter operator dare to try this end run when a few schools, including Trumbull just around the corner, is being closed due to so-called "underutilization."

That's because the Gates Foundation lavished Chicago with over $20 million to open 60 more charter schools.  First it was the small schools concept which never worked out, now it's charter schools for Gates.  

These two latest actions by the Turks show charters do not represent community interests, they represent corporate interests.

So now we go to the southwest side and see Ald. Cardenas trying to sneak in the Concept Schools NFP Charter School at 2245 W. Pershing.  

Concepts is also allegedly a union-buster involved in an expensive 3 year battle over the right of its teachers to become unionized.

Ald. Cardenas agreed to meet members of the community about the possible addition of the charter school on the southwest side on Tuesday.

A city council vote is scheduled for Wednesday, May 8 at 9 a.m. to change a former industrial building, now a vacant warehouse, to become the "Horizon Science Charter School Academy for the next 2013 - 2014 school year, according to a press release sent by Chicago Teacher Union employee John Kugler.

Kugler says the former rug padding factory location for the school has excessive amounts of toxins, and that the community had not been informed about this.

"Please contact Alderman Cárdenas to voice your concerns over this proposal," says Kugler.

Ward Office Phone: 773.523.8250
Ward Office Fax: 773.523.8440
City Hall Phone: 312.744.3040
City Hall Fax: 312.744.4482

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