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A Big Difference: Alderman Moore’s Committee on Rogers Park Schools (CORPS) and the Education Committee of Network 49

Several days ago, Alderman Joe Moore announced the formation of a new community committee he was sponsoring, called CORPS. The stated purpose of CORPS is to publicize and support the six non-charter neighborhood schools in the 49th Ward. A number of our members have asked us about the timing of this new initiative.

Since the late summer of 2015, Network 49 has been deeply involved in supporting our neighborhood schools. We believe the privatization of public education – through the expansion of charters and potentially with publicly funded vouchers, is undermining our neighborhood schools. Our work culminated in a referendum for the November 8 ballot, calling for a “freeze” on any new charter expansion in our ward. The referendum gained over 11,000 votes and was supported by 63% of voters. Alderman Moore was the only neighborhood elected official who opposed our referendum. Alderman Moore has also consistently opposed an elected school board for Chicago, and instead supports the appointment of all board members by the Mayor.

Alderman Moore has been a champion of charter schools in Rogers Park for years. He has steadfastly supported the Chicago Math and Science Academy, our first charter, even though residents were opposed to it. He supported the opening of UNO high school, ignoring ongoing investigations into UNOs school construction and contracting practices. And emails released in late 2016 show he was actively scheming with Mayor Emanuel to bring a Noble Network Charter School to Rogers Park, while denying publicly any such plan existed. This is his record on charters.

Alderman Moore also launched a plan in 2016 that would have led to the consolidation of two of our neighborhood schools to give Decatur Gifted a campus in our community. As best we can tell, he did not consult with the LSCs or the community before announcing the plan, which was cancelled because it violated CPS policies.

And now we have CORPS. While the proof of CORPS will be in the pudding, we are concerned the central thrust of CORPS is to create a support group for the schools, rather than one that advocates on their behalf. We don’t oppose supporting local schools. But we believe what will make a bigger difference is to encourage our members and neighbors to attend and support the local school councils and school events and to get involved in any way they can. It is this community self-education and knowledge that will create the staunch local allies our schools need.

But even more importantly, our concern is that CORPS does not address the central issues facing our schools: continued privatization (charters/vouchers), lack of a democratically-elected school board, unfair and inadequate school funding, and the siphoning of school funds into unnecessary TIFs. These are the areas where Alderman Moore needs to use his voice and his office.

In the meantime, Network 49 is moving on with our work. Through grassroots organizing and under the leadership of neighborhood residents, we will fight – in our community and through collaborations with other neighborhood and city-wide public-school advocacy organizations – to put neighborhood schools first.

We invite you to join us!

Network 49 Organizes Teach-in on DOJ Report on Chicago Police

Network 49 will host a teach-in on Monday February 27  for community residents to learn about what the US Department of Justice concluded in its investigation into Chicago Police Department abuses. The DOJ report was released earlier this year and validates long-held concerns by residents, especially minority youth, about the Chicago Police Department.

February 27 N49 Teach-in on DOJ and CPD (122 downloads)

 

Network 49 has invited Sheila Bedi, attorney and clinical professor of law at Northwestern University’s MacArthur Justice Center, to help put the report and findings in context. Ms. Bedi was previously Deputy Legal Director at the Southern Poverty Law Center, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization addressing hate crimes in the United States.

The teach-in is the first in a series of events Network 49 is hosting on safety in our community.

Protect Our Community – Rogers Park Neighborhood Action Meeting

~450 residents attended our co-hosted event. Photo courtesy Michael Harrington.
Photo courtesy Maricela Graciosa

Protect Our Community: Rogers Park Neighborhood Action Meeting

Mon, Feb 13 from 7pm – 8:30pm

Living Waters Church, 6808 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL

(corner of Pratt and Ashland)

Are you a resident of Rogers Park who is deeply concerned about the actions taken by the new President against Muslims, immigrants, and refugees in America? Are you worried about how your neighbors, friends, and loved ones might be targeted?

Join with other Rogers Park neighbors for a community-wide meeting. We’ll learn more about the implications of these new executive orders and brainstorm ways we can join together to keep our neighbors and neighborhood safe. One aspect of this will be creating a rapid response network aimed at protecting residents from unwanted incursions by government agencies. This network will:

1) Warn people if there is an incursion by law enforcement aimed at vulnerable communities.

2) Create and activate a safe harbor network for people needing sanctuary or help.

3) Mobilize the community to oppose the incursion and resolve it peacefully.

Organized by concerned Rogers Park neighbors, Network 49, Reclaim Chicago, A Just Harvest, and ONE Northside.

Network49 Encourages Participation at LSC Meetings

Each neighborhood public school has a leadership committee comprised of parents, teachers, and community members called a Local School Council, or LSC. The LSC is where the school stakeholders work together to improve the schools and provide advice and feedback to school administrators and CPS. Network 49 members are involved in LSCs and want you to support them, too. A great way is to attend their monthly meetings (usually not more than an hour and often less) and learn what is going on, then offer your assistance as best you can.

Here is a list of regularly scheduled meetings.

To read about LSCs on the Chicago Public Schools’ website, visit this page.


(Always confirm the time and location ahead of time, as things can change at the last minute).

Field Elementary (5th grade through 8th grade)
7019 N. Ashland Ave. — 1st Fri, 9:00 a.m.

New Field Elementary (Pre-k-through 4th grade)
1707 W. Morse — 2nd Wed, 4:00 p.m.

Kilmer Elementary (Pre-k through 8th grade)
6700 N. Greenview 2nd Wed, alternates between 7:00 a.m. start and 6:00 p.m. on alternating months

Sullivan High School (9th grade through 12th grade)
6631 N. Bosworth — 2nd Friday of the month, 9:45 a.m.

Gale Elementary (Annex) (Pre-k through 8th grade)
7650 N. Marshfield 3rd Wed of the month, 3:45 p.m.

Jordan Elementary (Pre-k through 8th grade)
7414 N. Wolcott — 3rd Tuesday of the month, 5:30 p.m.

 

 

Network49 Educates Senators About Betsy Devos

At its recent Education Committee meeting, members of the committee took time to contact Senators to educate them about Ms. DeVos’ long record of efforts to privatize public education. Ms. DeVos champions privately-run charter schools funded with taxpayer dollars. She champions using tax payer dollars to fund vouchers for students to attend parochial and religious-themed schools. She is fiercely opposed to the right of workers to collectively organize for their members. She and her affiliated organizations and foundations have provided the primary support to all sorts of fringe, discredited, and debunked groups and theories. Her record shows that she is diametrically opposed to ensuring all students equal protection and access to quality public education.

Committee members made calls to the 19 U.S. Senators on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. If you would like to call or email the Senators on that list, please follow this link.