The current educational system in Chicago privileges a select few, while the vast majority of families are sent to under-resourced neighborhood schools. Charter schools in Chicago present communities with a false “choice” by diverting resources from public, neighborhood schools to unaccountable, private charter schools. Dramatic charter expansion in the last 5 years has jeopardized much of the hard work and successes that neighborhood schools have achieved recently. BPNC joins many organizations in Chicago in calling for a moratorium on charter schools.
In 2016, BPNC led a campaign against a new Noble Network Charter school in Brighton Park. BPNC engaged more than 7,000 parents, students, and community members in the campaign leading every legislator in the area, except for Ald. Ed Burke and Representative Dan Burke, to oppose the new school. Despite a 1,000 person march to Ald Burke’s office, an 800 person public meeting at Kelly High School, and countless meetings with CPS and the Board of Education, the new Noble school was approved.
Nevertheless, the campaign sparked a renewed effort to strengthen neighborhood schools on the Southwest side and advocate for a charter moratorium in Chicago. This year, not a single charter school proposal was voted on by the Board of Education. Furthermore, the Board of Education agreed in its contract with the Chicago Teachers Union not to allow charter school enrollment capacity to increase to more than 101% of its currently level.
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