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Report: CPS officials flee Avondale

It looks like the community proposal prepared jointly by parents at Avondale and Logandale (see previous post) will not be considered by CPS – unless the Board of Education decides tomorrow that, as Ron Huberman told the City Council last year, the process is flawed and the parents deserve a say in the future of their children’s schools.

Bridget Murphy of Logan Square Neighborhood Association reports in an e-mail:

Left speechless, CPS officials abruptly exited a heated community meeting about consolidation at Avondale School.

This morning the Avondale Local School Council once again presented their community-based plan for Avondale-Logandale school utilization and performance to CPS officials.

“There are two proposals on the table,” said Avondale and Logandale parent Norma Luna. “One that has the support of parents, teachers and principals at the schools, and one that totally excludes the community. Which one will you choose?”

The officials — Jose Alvarez, James Dispensa and chief area officer Craig Benes — responded that the CPS recommendation is to move forward with the original consolidation plan. Other than a comment about “vertical articulation,” no explanation was given about the educational benefits for students. No feedback was provided on the community-based plan, which would maintain two schools but move 5th graders to Logandale to better utilize building space.

Senator Iris Martinez, chief sponsor of the school facilities bill now moving through Springfield, took the microphone and blasted CPS for its process: “You always talk about parent involvement — well this is parent involvement!  This community will not stand for not being involved in this process.”

“There’s a way for us to come together,” she said. “We are willing to come together.” The auditorium erupted with applause and cheers as she continued, “For me not to know what you’re doing when my office is across the street from the school, that is a complete lack of respect.”

Abruptly, Alvarez, Dispensa and Benes picked up their things and rushed out the door and down the stairs to exit the building.

The Board of Education — at their last meeting before a new administration enters — will decide on the fate of Avondale and Logandale tomorrow.

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Category: CPS, Logan Square, school closings, school facilities

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