Sunday, May 24, 2015

Protest Against Charter

Northside Community Unites against relocation of Noble Charter High School as Unnecessary and Counterproductive to Neighborhood HS Resurgence Effort
Aldermen, Principals, LSCs, Parents and Community Members Join Forces to Stop Relocation
Chicago – Principals, elected officials and hundreds of parents and community members are uniting in an effort to put a stop to the proposed relocation of Noble Academy to 640 W. Irving Park Road from it’s current downtown location.The group will convene at 3:50 p.m. on Thursday, May 21st at CPS Board headquarters, 42 W. Madison, where a community hearing is scheduled to discuss the relocation.
“Opening a charter or any high school in our respective communities will undermine the efforts that are currently underway and the momentum we have gained in our neighborhood high schools through the hard work and dedication of our staff and our communities,” said Susan Lofton, principal of Senn High School. “Relocating or opening a new school will be a detrimental diversion of needed resources away from our existing schools.”
The groups have urged the Board of Education and Mayor Emanuel to oppose the move of this school to the proposed location based on the following facts:

·       The proposed school could siphon millions from Amundsen, Lake View, Sullivan, Uplift and Senn high schools

·       46th Ward Alderman, James Cappleman opposes locating the school in his ward. Many aldermen in the surrounding area have also publicly opposed this move.

·       The move has not been approved by the BOE. However, Noble is ALREADY ADVERTISING the location and soliciting neighborhood students.

·       Existing neighborhood high schools are not over-enrolled and have capacity to educate all of the students from their feeder schools.  There is NO DEMAND for additional high school seats in this area.

·       The move will undermine the momentum of the GrowCommunity effort, an initiative directed by Alderman O’Connor, Pawar and Tunney in partnership with the Urban Education Institute, the University of Chicago and Mayor Emanuel.
Despite less than seven days notice to the community of the proposed move and the hearing, the news has struck outrage among community members, who have mobilized a broad and growing opposition campaign in just a few days. In addition to aldermanic support, and a letter signed by all neighboring high school principals in opposition to this move, resolutions and written opposition letters have been passed by numerous Local School Councils including:  Amundsen HS, Lakeview HS, Senn HS, Sullivan HS, Uplift HS, Blaine, Coonley, Waters, Nettelhorst, Ravenswood, Jordan, Boone, Kilmer, New Field, McPherson (additional schools scheduled to vote on resolutions this week). In addition, a call in and e-mail campaign have been launched this week.
Jeff Jenkins, parent from Coonley School said, “Our communities are committed to the growth and success of our existing public schools, andwe thought our mayor and the board of education were equally committed.  Yet, our district’s billion dollar deficit and the fact that there is no over-crowding issues at our high schools, this plan makes no sense.”
Noble HS also has a proposal for Rogers Park for 2016 and the community is concerned about the ongoing impact that charter expansion will have on existing neighborhood high schools.
Contact:         If you plan to attend this event or have any questions, please contact Amy Smolensky, 312-485-0053

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