From CPS teacher Lucia Podraza
I just found out last night about the proposals for Noble at tonight's board meeting. The Chicago Teachers Union brought this to our attention. No one at CPS contacted any admins of schools in the affected area.
If there is a budget deficit, I don't see how giving Noble 50 million will fix it or fix our crumbling neighborhood schools. Here is an impassioned plea from a fellow staff member. We don't have the luxury of support from aldermen that the North siders had when they stopped Noble. Please see if you can use this or spread the information for people to know that the fight against corporate democrats and privatizers never ends.
"On the agenda the Board of Education of the City of Chicago monthly board meeting from 4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Gwendolyn Brooks HS is a proposal to vote on an additional $50 million for three new charter campuses to be built and opened for the 2016-2017 school year.
With all due respect to the Board of Education of the City of Chicago, why are they even considering approving this expenditure when the Board of Education’s deficit is so high and we are all asked to take reductions in pay and benefits? I can't hold my tongue any further, and I can't sit passively by as all the great work we have done at Kennedy will be pulled out from under us after the next school year.
Today's Board Meeting -- Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy HS, 4:30 PM
If only that $50 million were reinvested in existing schools to make them appeal as much to our neighborhood kids as the gleaming gems of charter schools which have proliferated around our city. Kids and parents are attracted to what is new, certainly not better quality just new.
For your review I've attached the proposed budget for the Noble Street Network of Charter Schools as well as the narrative for the request for purchase (RFP).
We have had the highest growth on the ACT in 2012 in both Composite Gains and Meets/Exceeds Increases. We have been recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education for increases in Student Achievement by being placed on their Honor Roll. We have been authorized as an IB Diploma World School. What more can we do to prove that Kennedy is a great general public high school which services all students from low-incidence to IB, and everything in between.
When Noble Charter students are asked to leave for minor discipline infractions and lack of academic achievement, they come to Kennedy and we educate them. We don't have the ability to ask students to leave our school for discipline issues, while at the same time having the Student Code of Conduct rewritten to handcuff our abilities to truly discipline students and hold them accountable for their poor behavior.
We have achieved the most impressive turnaround in student achievement for a general public high school in all of Chicago. We did not do it through a multi-million dollar school improvement grant. We even managed to work through this with a $1.9 million budget shortfall in 2013. We have done this through collaborative effort, blood, sweat and tears at times. When will be the moment when our voices are heard? We were never asked to submit an RFP for capital improvements at Kennedy. We don't have the opportunity to request additional resources to improve our building.
We have had a leak in our library since I started at Kennedy HS on September, 2006. Our gym floors are embarrassing and dangerous for our children. The ceiling collapsed in the Varsity Gym Office and still has not been fixed. We have to use School-based Budget funds to fix it ourselves.
I can go on and on.about our auditorium, classrooms, bathrooms, locker rooms, auditorium seats, etc, etc, etc.
Can we use a portion of the $50 Million about to be ear-marked for Noble Street Charter Network?
This is all happening now, while in the past $21 million was spent on the worst principal professional development our principal was required to take.
It really breaks my heart to see the priorities of the District not aligned to what is best for students and the teachers to whom parents entrust their children."
Kennedy High School