CHICAGO (TOC) — Chicago Public Faculties abruptly scrapped plans for what residents say is a much-needed new highschool shortly earlier than a vote was set to be taken.
Whereas a number of South Facet Chicago neighborhoods have misplaced residents, Chinatown has no less than doubled in dimension up to now 20 years. Surrounding neighborhoods, together with Bridgeport and the South Loop, have additionally grown, leading to an explosion of scholar inhabitants on the elementary faculties.
“There was a long run want for a neighborhood highschool close by the place the scholars can stroll or take a brief bus journey,” stated Grace Chan McKibben, Coalition for a Higher Chinese language American Neighborhood.
Chinese language neighborhood teams have pushed for a neighborhood highschool for many years. Proper now, the closest is Wendell Phillips Academy, which is about 2.4 miles away, or Kelly Excessive College, which is greater than 4 miles away.
“We have now a reasonably distinctive want. It is primarily immigrants coming into Chinatown and they’re on the lookout for faculties that serve immigrants properly with bilingual packages,” stated David Wu, govt director of the Pui Tak Heart.
The CPS College Board was able to take a vote on a controversial $120 million new South Facet highschool proposed to be constructed on a vacant lot at twenty fourth and South State Avenue, however CPS CEO Pedro Martinez shocked the board and pulled the proposal for now.
“I do not need to convey an merchandise with such complexity to the board except I be sure we’re answering all of the questions on the neighborhood and nonetheless noticed a number of questions coming into in the present day,” he stated.
Questions are coming from Black inexpensive housing advocates who’re towards utilizing land for a brand new faculty on Chicago Housing Authority Property that housed the previous Harold Ickes Properties, the place CHA by no means fulfilled a promise to construct a whole lot of inexpensive models.
“Now they are saying there are coming to construct a faculty for us, we’ll I say it is it a faculty for everyone else however us,” stated Etta Davis, who spoke out towards a brand new faculty.
There’s additionally concern a brand new faculty will drain sources from close by under-enrolled majority Black excessive faculties.
Chinese language teams stated they welcomed a delay within the vote for extra neighborhood engagement.
Martinez stated he plans to convey the proposal again for a vote within the close to future, with sufficient time to probably persuade board members who deliberate to vote towards it Wednesday.
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