Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended the grand opening of Mansueto Charter High School. This new charter school is minutes away from Kelly High School, Brighton Park’s neighborhood high school. Mayor Emanuel’s comments are insulting to our leaders and community residents who have for years fought for more funding for Kelly High School and for a clear and transparent process for public school funding throughout the district.
Even though the Mayor continues to champion the construction of new charter schools throughout the city, he has left CPS with a more than $100,000,000 deficit this year. This deficit is on top of the more than $500,000,000 in budget cuts that he has made to CPS schools throughout the past year alone.
BPNC led the community’s opposition to the construction of this new charter high school because we demand that the Mayor, Chicago Board of Education, and CPS should have a clear citywide plan to invest in all neighborhood high schools before we build more schools. We still do not have a citywide plan. Meanwhile, the funding system the Mayor has set up continues to punish neighborhood public schools, and their students, if they have lost enrollment.
At Mansueto today, the Mayor stated, "Sometimes the political process can be quite frustrating. You made sure you had a high-quality option for your children." Saying this after he cut $3.1 million this year Kelly High School, a few blocks away, demonstrates his callousness and his total disregard for the educational opportunities of the students in our neighborhood public high schools.
Despite what the Mayor said today, students and parents at our local public high schools should be incredibly proud of their schools. Kelly, Curie, Back of the Yards, Solorio, Kennedy, Lindblom, and Gage Park High School have incredible teachers, support staff, and programs dedicated to their students’ success. It is a shame that the Mayor does not realize this.