PSAT for 4-12-11: Facilities bill in committee tomorrow

It’s late notice, but the bill to put into law the recommendations of the Illinois Facilities Task Force will be heard tomorrow morning at 8 am in the Senate Education Committee.

Congratulations to Rep Cynthia Soto, who has championed this bill and this movement for several years despite enormous hostility from City Hall and CPS. Also to be thanked is Designs for Change, its head, Don Moore, and Valencia Rias, who shepherded this process, and the committee members who spent long hours at public hearings – where they actually listened and took people’s ideas into account. Remarkable for government in Chicago…

Even though it’s last minute, for Public Schools Action Tuesday today, please call at least one of these Education Committee members before the end of the day today (or early tomorrow if you call before 8 am!) and tell them to vote YES on SB 620:

Sen. James Meeks 217.782.8066

Sen. Kimberly Lightford 217.782.8505

Sen. Annazette Collins 217.783.6252

Sen. Susan Garrett 217.782.6252

Sen. John Mulroe 217.782.5650

Sen. David Luechtefeld 217.782.8137

Sen. Christine Johnson 217.782.1977

Sen. Kyle McCarter 217.782.5255

Sen. Suzi Schmidt 217.782.7353


SB 620 will:

  • Create the 17-member “Chicago Educational Facilities Planning Commission”.
  • Give all key stakeholders a voice on the Commission.
  • Ensure thoughtful educational planning for students, their schools and communities.
  • Create transparency and accountability on facility spending.
  • Foster coordination between the school district and other local governments and public agencies.
  • Empower local schools to be partners in facility planning, improvements, maintenance and operations.
  • Require that CPS base its “School Actions” – school closings and new school openings, attendance boundary changes, turn-arounds, phase-outs, consolidations, and co-locations – on sound educational grounds and an open decision making process.

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.