Marching against gentrification, Pell grants for dual enrollment, being black at elite high schools, principals’ group election
Hundreds marched on Tuesday to protest gentrification in Logan Square along the 606 trail, which they say is contributing to declines in neighborhood school enrollment. "I'm a parent against displacement," reads a sign help by by Sofia Mu?niz, who has lived in the neighborhood for 10 years.
Marching the 606 against gentrification. On the same day CPS told principals to plan for 39-percent cuts to their budgets, hundreds of activists, families, educators and aldermen marched down the 606 Trail to protest gentrification in Logan Square, saying it is driving out working-class families and hurting neighborhood schools.
The march, organized by the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, was also intended to promote the group’s proposed ordinances to keep families from being displaced. Marchers made their way along a western segment of the elevated 606 at 5:30 p.m., rush hour for biking commuters and joggers.
Lowell special education teacher Oscar Ortiz said gentrification starts a “domino effect” that weakens neighborhood schools, with families pushed out by rising rent prices usually replaced by young, childless couples or wealthier families who don’t send their kids to CPS. Fewer students means fewer dollars, since funding is mostly tied to enrollment.
Parents and teachers fear that budget cuts will lead to a further enrollment decline, even among families who prefer neighborhood schools’ bilingual programs and strong community ties. “Families that can will move their kids out of CPS,” said Jerry Skinner, a veteran teacher at Kelvyn Park High School, where enrollment has fallen by almost 1,000 students over the past decade. “The students who remain will be those with the highest needs. And they deserve good teachers, too.”
Pell grants for high schoolers. The U.S. Department of Education has announced a pilot program to provide federal Pell grants to 10,000 high school students who are taking dual enrollment courses at 44 colleges in selected states.
None of the 44 colleges are in Chicago, but three are in downstate Illinois: Carl Sandburg, Illinois Central and Southwestern Illinois. The vast majority of the 44 schools are community colleges.
“Innovation is an important underpinning in our efforts to expand college access and increase college completion for our nation’s students,” said U.S. Under-Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell in the press release fact-sheet.
Research has shown that students in early college and dual enrollment programs have a better chance of eventually earning a degree. Students earn college credit while in high school, helping them save money and get a jump-start on post-secondary credits. Pell grant eligibility lasts for only six years of full-time education. An education department officials told WBEZ that it’s unlikely students will run out of eligibility before they earn a degree.
Being black at elite schools. Black students at Boston Latin School (BLS), an elite magnet school with a competitive reputation, are speaking out against the racism they regularly face and the administration’s inaction to address it.
Posted in Lathrop, News, Education, 606 Bloomingdale Trail, Affordable Housing