Parents Fight for a Voice in Education

December 23, 2008

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A school reform group fighting to preserve a strong role for parents in Chicago schools won a small victory in court yesterday.

The group Parents United for Responsible Education filed a lawsuit earlier this year alleging the district is violating state law by creating new schools without local school councils.

The councils are parent-majority boards that help govern most of the city's schools.

Chicago has opened 75 schools in the past four years under its Renaissance 2010 initiative. Few have an LSC.

Yesterday, a Circuit Court judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit, as CPS lawyers had requested.

But the parent advocacy group said it can't wait for the court to address what it sees as an eroding role for parents in Chicago Public Schools.

WOESTEHOFF: We want parents to have a powerful presence in Chicago with or without local school councils.

Julie Woestehofh is the group's executive director. She's helping start a union of parents and hopes to put stewards in all of the city's schools.