Ald. Pat Dowell reacts to CPS changes in her community

June 13, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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(Photo courtesy of Ald. Pat Dowell)
Ald. Pat Dowell of the 3rd Ward says she is frustrated by the way CPS decisions have affected her community.

Some communities might be excited to get a new school, but not everyone in the 3rd Ward on Chicago’s South Side is excited about South Shore Urban Prep High School relocating there. In recent years, residents of the Ward, which includes Bronzeville, have seen a number of school closings and openings. Alderman Pat Dowell of the 3rd Ward says she is frustrated by the way decisions have been made and the effects they’ve had on her community. She joined Eight Forty-Eight to explain more.

 


Chicago Public School's response to Ald. Dowell's letter to CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard:
From Becky Carroll, CPS Spokeswoman:

First, we want to thank Alderman Dowell for her commitment to her community and leadership on these very important issues. CPS staff has been working with her and her community to address many of them and we'll continue to do so moving forward under the guidance of our new CEO, Jean Claude Brizard.

The district currently faces an staggering $720 million deficit in the upcoming fiscal year and we are working to preserve existing safe passage funding at 38 of our schools. Given our limited funding we are unable to expand the program at this time but are committed to focus funding on existing schools within the program in an effort to maintain consistency and effect a lasting impact on those school communities.

CPS is committed to the safety of all of our students and work regularly with city agencies to implement strategies to ensure the safety of our students. We are collaborating with CPD and the CTA to ensure that students attending Urban Prep and surrounding schools will travel to and from school in the safest way possible during the upcoming school year. We have worked with principals to stagger dismissal times for all high schools in the area to minimize contact between student bodies and are working with the CTA to provide expedited access to buses upon dismissal. We are also working to identify optimal routes for students to enter and exit the Urban Prep high school building. In addition, CPD has committed to provide a visible presence near the campus and neighborhood bus stops to monitor activities during dismissal times.

We will continue to monitor the situation at Urban Prep as the school year begins and make any adjustments necessary and will continue to work as closely as possible with Alderman Dowell in the weeks and months to come.

Dave Specter, "the Funky Hunky", from the CD Spectified, (Fret12)