May 25 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.  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 CNC is our eyes and ears at the CPS Board of Education Meetings.

Preview: Chicago Public Schools Board of Education Meeting, May 25, 2011

Chicago’s new school CEO is likely to be sworn in during tomorrow’s CPS board of education meeting when the board will also vote on a few new charter schools, changes to attendance boundaries, and a new code of ethics. Follow Chicago News Cooperative education reporter Rebecca Vevea at @cncschools for live updates and commentary starting at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday the 25th. If you have a specific question about the meeting, send it to

*Interim CEO Terry Mazany and Interim Chief Education Officer Charles M. Payne will be honored for their service to the board.

*The new Code of Ethics outlines appropriate business relationships, proper use of board funds and conflicts of interest. Former CPS Board President Michael Scott fell under harsh public scrutiny when it was revealed that district funds were being inappropriately given to hand-picked charities with no benefit for CPS.

* Three of Chicago’s well-known charter operators are expected to grow. Chicago International Charter School seeks $300,000 for professional development programs. Urban Prepis asking for a charter agreement for a location in East Garfield Park as well as to move their South Shore campus in Kenwood Park to a new building. UNO Charter Network plans to open two new elementary school locations, one in the Gage Park area and another near Clemente High School in Humboldt Park. The additional enrollment will be roughly 600 per school.Youth Connection Charter School plans to open Options Laboratory School this coming fall, enrolling approximately 250 9th through 12th grade students.

*The Academy of Urban School Leadership is slated to be approved for about $1.3 million for their teacher residency program. In 2009-10, the amount allocated to the program from CPS was $100,000 and last year it was $346,000. The board will also decide whether to allocate $250,000 for the teacher training facility at Eric Solorio Academy High School.

*Because the board voted to consolidate several schools during last month’s meeting, attendance boundaries are being adjusted for the following schools: Emil G. Hirsch Metropolitan High School, A.N. Pritzker Elementary School, James Otis Elementary and William B. Ogden Elementary.

*The district will also vote on a measure that would distribute $55 million for Early Childhood services at centers across the city that are not formally affiliated with the district. This comes at a time when Early Childhood funding is slated for cuts at the state and national level.

MEETING SUMMARYParents Bring Breakfast Beefs to CPS Board
Parents angered over the Breakfast in the Classroom program once again took their complaints to the CPS board of education Wednesday. The new program, which mandates breakfast be served in CPS elementary schools at the beginning of the school day, is designed to make sure students aren't starting the day hungry. While there is agreement that the district should find ways to make sure hungry children are fed, the move has frustrated parents who already are serving their children breakfast at home and feel like their kids are being taught bad eating habits at school.
Menus that continue to offer sugary cereals and dessert items are not going over well with parents who fight at home to get their kids to eat healthy foods. Meredith Crowley, a CPS parent, told board members Wednesday she is upset that the district is serving dessert for breakfast, citing menu items such as chocolate cereal and Rice Krispie bars. “Please give someone at CPS a red pen and ask them to go through the menu at Chartwell’s, ditch the desserts, red-line the Rice Krispie bars, freeze the Frosted Mini-Wheats,” Crowley said. Parents have asked the board to give principals discretion to determine if the program is necessary at their school.
However, the board also heard from supporters of the program, who point to poverty statistics in the city and argue that a previous program that offered breakfast before school stigmatized children. Representatives from Parents United for Healthy Schools delivered 5,000 signed petitions to the board from other parent and community members who welcome the program.
And for more on new CEO Jean-Claude Brizard's contract, go to .
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Posted on May 25, 2011 at 2:53 PM