Apr. 27 CPS Board of Ed Meeting from CNC

Written by: Crystal Yednak

NPN has partnered with the Chicago News Cooperative to help parents get answers to questions they have about Chicago schools. Starting with this first CPS board meeting preview, CNC education reporters will contribute posts about how CPS works and what's happening at the board of education. CNC will also weigh in about state funding issues and trends in education. If you have a question you'd like to see addressed, please send it to cyednak@chicagonewscoop.org.

The Chicago News Cooperative produces public-interest journalism focused on Chicago, its politics, policy, culture and the arts, and the diverse communities of the metropolitan area. Find us at www.chicagonewscoop.org. Here, CNC will be our eyes and ears at the CPS Board of Education Meeting

Preview: Chicago Public Schools Board of Education Meeting, April 27, 2011

Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel has named his picks for a brand new administration and board to oversee Chicago Public Schools, but the current leadership has one more meeting before exiting. Chicago News Cooperative education reporter Rebecca Vevea offers a preview of Wednesday's meeting, during which CPS board members will vote on a handful of school consolidations, several charter renewals and a new International Baccalaureate programme. Follow Chicago News Cooperative education reporters at @cncschools for live updates and commentary starting at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. If you have a specific question about the meeting, send it to rvevea@chicagonewscoop.org.

Here’s a look at what’s on the agenda:

* More consolidations are on the table. After intense public outcry following last month's meeting, four schools were spared and removed from the consolidation list. (Biedler, Cather, Tilton and Marconi). The list of possible consolidations for this month includes:
- Hans Christian Anderson Elementary School would merge into LaSalle II Magnet Elementary School. Anderson Elementary stopped accepting kindergarten students in 2008.
- Avondale Elementary School and Logandale Middle School would merge to form a two-building, K-8 campus. The attendance area boundaries of Logandale would be expanded. This consolidation was listed in last month’s meeting and a public forum was held to discuss the decision.
- Bowen Environmental Studies High School, the Chicago Discovery High School, and the Global Visions High Schoolwould combine into the New Millennium High School, establishing a single high school at the Bowen Campus.
- Philo Carpenter Elementary School would merge into Mancel Talcott Elementary School. This consolidation was listed in last month’s meeting and a public forum was held to discuss the decision.
- George Schneider Elementary School would combine with Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Elementary School. Attendance areas would be adjusted for both schools. This consolidation was listed in last month’s meeting and a public forum held.

* Edward Bouchet Math and Science Academy will change it’s name to Bouchet International Academy of Chicago and begin offering the International Baccalaureate primary and middle years programmes. Students enrolled in Bouchet’s middle years programme will automatically be granted a spot at South Shore International College Preparatory High School.

* Contract renewals for the following charter schools will be voted on.
- Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter School
- Chicago Virtual Charter School
- Urban Prep Academies *The board will also vote on the following start-up funds for charters set to open this coming fall.
- Chicago Charter School Foundation ($664,000)
- LEARN Charter School ($545,300)
- UNO Charter School Network ($1,378,200)
- Youth Connection Charter School ($330,300)

*Three building leases with the Noble Network of Charter Schools are set for approval. The spaces were all once occupied by neighborhood schools that were recently phased out or consolidated. Reed School was phased out in 2009; the three schools housed in the Crieger Building were all phased out in 2009; and Gladstone School was phased out in 2008.


In a school system where one person is in charge -- the mayor -- a 'no' vote by a CPS board member can cause quite the stir. During Wednesday's meeting of the CPS board of education, member Peggy Davis voted against the school consolidation proposals, which all passed despite her dissent. Davis indicated that she believed the five consolidations would be acted on separately so she would be able to vote 'no' on one of them. The school actions were wrapped into one vote. In a curious move, Davis would not reveal which school consolidation she was voting against. When reporters pressed her after the meeting, Davis declined to comment, saying "It's in the record." My colleague Rebecca Vevea has more details on the board meeting at www.chicagonewscoop.org.

Posted on April 26, 2011 at 8:23 PM