The city’s After School Matters program will get a big shot in the arm with a $25 million donation from ‘Star Wars’ creator George Lucas, allowing the program to restore the stipends paid to students and helping to make up for a shortfall in fundraising in recent years.
On the National Day Against Testing, the Chicago Teachers Union called on parents to “opt out” of standardized testing. At a press conference on Thursday, the union announced the launch of the “Let Us Teach” campaign, to not only urge parents to refuse to let their children take part in tests but also to call on CPS to stop giving any standardized exams to children in kindergarten through 2nd grade.
Earlier this year, CPS launched a centralized enrollment process for its preschools, setting an earlier deadline to apply for a slot and designating sites around the city where parents had to submit their application.
Unimpressed with the announcement last week that Mayor Rahm Emanuel will declare a TIF surplus that will garner about $20 million more for CPS, two parent organizations said on Wednesday they want to know more about TIF spending and would ultimately like to see the district get more money.
In West Lawn on the Southwest Side and in Belmont-Cragin on the Northwest Side, groups are organizing to send the message to CPS leaders that they want more support for neighborhood schools, rather than an increase in charter schools.
The Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance has released a report suggesting that school closings and the district’s expansion of “school choice” further aggravate the city’s problems with neighborhood and school segregation.
A coalition of community organizations announced Tuesday that it is forming the “People’s School Board” to stand in direct opposition to the mayoral-appointed board and plans to hold CPS accountable for keeping its commitments to improve schools that received students displaced by closings.