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Businesses Pledge $30 Million to Chicago Schools

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Chicago Public Schools officials and Mayor Richard Daley showed off a charter high school to business leaders this morning.

The breakfast reception was part of their ongoing effort to encourage private support for public schools.

Mayor Daley points to Noble Street Charter high school as an example of how such independent schools can help reform public education.

Despite projected school budget deficits, Daley continues to push Renaissance 2010.

That plan calls for the closing of troubled schools and the opening of a hundred new schools within the next few years.

And key to that is financial support from Chicago’s business leaders, who were treated to a tour and program with the schools.

They also got thanks from the mayor for their ongoing financial support of the ambitious plan.

""We talk about the Burnham plan, the Columbian Exposition, world’s fair,"" Daley says. ""Great things that really changed the course of history, and I firmly believe the business community, then and now, (is) changing the course of history of Chicago and all American cities.""

So far, corporations such as Allstate, Motorola, McDonalds, United and Wrigley have pledged $30 million, and national foundations have pledged another $10 million to help new renaissance schools with startup costs.

CPS has collected $7 million of those pledges.

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