The recent proposals to open new charter schools within the same year as Chicago Public Schools’ record-breaking closure of 50 neighborhood public schools raises serious questions regarding the district’s decision to shutter schools due to underutilization in May 2013.
Just four months after this historic ruling, CPS issued an RFP for new charters and recruited parents and community members to serve on Neighborhood Advisory Councils (NACs) to evaluate charter proposals and “guide all decision-making around this process,” according to CPS CEO Byrd-Bennett. Like CPS’ community engagement process leading up to the massive school closings, community members—including those serving on NACs—have questioned the legitimacy of this decision-making process. According to teacher and northwest side NAC member Tim Meegan, “The NAC is an attempt to cover the privatization agenda under the mantle of community engagement. No one is fooled.” For more information, see the following:
Selecting charters in Chicago a rigged game | Chicago Sun-Times, December 13, 2013
A passionate debate over CPS’ 21 proposed charter schools | Chicago Sun-Times, December 16, 2013
Charter schools propose big expansion | Catalyst Chicago, December 17, 2013
Hearing attracts charter supporters, some who do not know what they are supporting | WBEZ, December 17, 2013