Save North Lawndale Schools

Bethune Chalmers Henson Mason H.S. Paderewski Pope

Save Our Schools

Community Based Alternative Plan Presented by the Committee to Save North Lawndale Schools Thursday, March 21, 2013 (Revised March 23, 2013) Schools Boys Foundation 1 Save North Lawndale Better

Table of Contents
The Committee to Save North Lawndale Schools...........................................................................Page 3 Endangered North Lawndale Schools..................................................................................................Page 4 Purpose..............................................................................................................................................................Page 5 Issues..................................................................................................................................................................Page 6 Community Advisory Council Proposal...............................................................................................Page 8 Community School Collaborative............................................................................................................Page 9

2

Save North Lawndale Schools

The Committee to Save North Lawndale Schools
The Committee to Save North Lawndale Schools (CSNLS) is comprised of North Lawndale stakeholders who have come together to provide an alternative plan to avert school closings. Members of the ad hoc committee include elected officials, local community-based organizations, and engaged individuals. To date, the group consists of the following members: Benjamin Bedenfield, Y-Men Billy Brooks, Better Boys Foundation Rev. Eric Brown, Greater Progressive Missionary Baptist Church Willie Cole, North Lawndale Supporter Willie Mae Bowling, 4200 West Cullerton Block Club Dan Cantrell, Congressman Danny K. Davis' Office Alderman Michael Chandler Benard Clay, WSBNAACP Congressman Danny K. Davis Margaret Davis, Lawndale Resident Alderman Jason Ervin Cheryl Francis, Chicago Area Project Dr. Betty Green, North Lawndale Community Advisory Council Nicole "Nikki" Harvey, Eden Advocacy CDC/ WSBNAACP David Evers, Commissioner Robert Steele's Office Sherneron Hilliard, Family Focus-Lawndale Mariame Kaba, Project Nia Valerie F. Leonard, Lawndale Alliance Trina Mangrum, Alderman Chandler's Office Alderman Ricardo Munoz Lorenzo O'Bryant, Family Focus-Lawndale Windy Pearson, Action Now Xavier Ramey, Y-MEN William Riley, Eden Advocacy CDC Katie Russell, Better Boys Foundation Commissioner Robert Steele Wayne Stiles, Better Boys Foundation Darren Tillis, North Lawndale Community Advisory Council Michael Trout, Y-MEN State Representative Arthur Turner Mary Visconti, Better Boys Foundation Debra Wesley, Sinai Community Institute Cynthia Williams, Sinai Community Institute Annetta Wilson, Sankofa Safe Child Initiative Gladys Woodson 4300 West 21st Place Block Club Michelle Young, Action Now

3

Save North Lawndale Schools

Endangered North Lawndale Schools
To date, there are 5 North Lawndale Schools that could be potentially be closed, and one scheduled for an AUSL turnaround: Bethune Chalmers Henson Mason High School Paderewski Pope

4

Save North Lawndale Schools

Purpose
Chicago Public Schools has indicated that they will be closing 54 public schools. This action could reduce the number of schools by up to 7% when total CPS enrollment between 2000 and 2010 has decreased by 5% (WBEZ). Closing 54 schools would represent $600 million in disinvestment of school assets citywide. The African American community would be disproportionately impacted, as 91% of the schools(117) targeted for closure are in African American neighborhoods, while African American children comprise 41% of the CPS student population. Drilling closer to home, the North Lawndale community will be more adversely impacted than any community in Chicago. Five schools are slated for closure, while one school will be turned around. We will lose half of our neighborhood schools for a total capital disinvestment of $86 million to our local economy, and a disinvestment of up to $24 million per year in school operating funds in our community. As it stands, the North Lawndale community is one of the most impoverished communities in the city, with a median income of $18,000 and unemployment rate of 17%--before the recession of 2007. Closing 5 school buildings and leaving them empty would cause a host of problems, including exacerbated blight conditions; reduced property values; increased student mobility rates; increased dropout rates; increased vandalism and violence and interrupted student learning. The most upwardly mobile residents may decide to leave residents to leave, while real estate developers will continue to take a pass on new development. This single act could be just as detrimental--if not more detrimental--than losing major employers like International Harvester, Sears and Western Electric. It could take ten years or more for the community to recover--if we recover. Ten years represents an entire generation of elementary school students. The purpose of this plan is to provide community based alternatives to school closings and to begin a dialogue between community stakeholders, the Chicago Public Schools and the philanthropic community to find win-win solutions that will positively impact academic outcomes for our children and the quality of life for North Lawndale residents.

5

Save North Lawndale Schools

Issues
Mayor Emanuel and Barbara Byrd Bennett, the CEO of Chicago Public Schools have announced that they will close 54 schools and turnaround 7 additional schools all at once, in an effort to get the pain over with quickly. However, for a community like North Lawndale to lose 5 schools in one fell swoop could prove to be as detrimental--if not more so--than losing major employers like International Harvester and Western Electric in the 1970's. Upwardly mobile families would leave in droves, relocating to neighborhoods with more stability. School closures have not proven to improve academic outcomes, and the negative impacts far outweigh any cost savings in the long run. School closures increase student mobility, reduce property values, lead to job loss and wage reduction, interrupt student learning, increase school violence and increase truancy and the chances of delinquency. North Lawndale children are among the most vulnerable in the city, and are the least likely to withstand interruption.

Utilization
One of the greatest sources of contention has been with the manner in which CPS has determined whether or not schools are efficiently utilized. It should be noted that a number of school buildings were built at the turn of the last century and the 60's and 70's. The population of the community was more dense, and the school curricula have changed significantly. At the time the schools were built, there were no technology labs, or science labs. A number of the schools didn't have libraries. Some of our high schools were never designed to be schools, or high schools, or to house more than one school. The School Utilization formula is based on teachers union contracted class size limits, as opposed to actual programs and building operations, which vary widely from school to school. As a result, site visits and public testimony from schools have indicated discrepancies between enrollment and utilization data tracked by the schools and CPS. CPS has indicated that, while public schools are being closed for under-utilization, they will open 60 new charter schools in the communities where public schools are under-utilized.

Financial
While CPS faces significant financial challenges, we believe that there is sufficient time to prepare a master facilities plan before disposing of buildings. For years, CPS has budgeted deficits, and have overcome them by year's end. The audited financial statements for SY 2012 indicate that CPS made received $322 million at the end of the year to offset the budget deficit. The capital replacement costs used by the Utilization Commission to justify potential cost savings by closing schools are over $2 billion more than the book value of the buildings as recorded in the audited financial statements. CPS has indicated a need to reduce the $317 million annual cost to operate schools. At the same time, the $412 million spent on consultants and professional services represents a $40 million increase over the prior year. Clearly, there is room for adjustments and negotiation in these areas.

6

Save North Lawndale Schools

Truancy and Public Safety
Nearly 32,000, or approximately 1 in 8 (12%) Chicago public school students in kindergarten through eighth grade missed 4 or more weeks of class in 2011. Approximately 19% of kindergarten students had 9 or more unexcused absences. North Lawndale is among the top 5 Chicago communities with respect to truancy. The Illinois State Board of Education has cut funding for the Truants Alternative and Option Education Program from $20 million (statewide) in 2009 to $12 million in 2012. (Chicago Tribune). If left unchecked, truancy leads to poor academic performance, dropout and juvenile delinquency. Chicago Public Schools no longer have truant officers, and local schools have very limited resources to address the issue. The Police Department gives higher priority to offenses other than truancy. The North Lawndale community is served by Police District 10 and District 11. In 2010, District 11 ranked number 2 citywide in terms of juvenile arrests, with 2,141 juvenile arrests. Of this number, 255 arrests occurred on school property. District 10 ranked number 10, with 1,348 arrests. Of this number, 133 arrests occurred on school property. (Project Nia) Approximately 80% of the North Lawndale community is in gang territory. Because there are several rival gangs, and the boundaries remain fluid, closing schools could inadvertently create friction as students are transferred to different schools. Closing school buildings in some of the hottest gang areas in the community would invite an escalation in illicit activities.

Neighborhood Deterioration
The North Lawndale community has long battled blighted conditions and over the years, has been designated a Conservation Area (1960's), and had an Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Zone in the 1990's. Presently, every inch of our land mass is in a TIF area, and efforts are under way to bring about new development. To date, the area has over 1,700 vacant properties, and a number of recent housing developments and new projects in the pipeline. Because we are still in a recession, recovery is anticipated to be slow. Blighted conditions remain pervasive. A number of schools targeted for closure are located in prime targeted redevelopment areas, or near new developments. Having empty school buildings brings down property values and makes it very difficult to sell market rate homes in the vicinity. As it stands, Pope is adjacent to a gated community in which homeowners invested $2880,000 to $480,000 in new homes. Affordable homes have been built near Henson. Closing schools, in general ,would be an incentive for families to move to more stable communities, and reverse any progress made over the years.

7

Save North Lawndale Schools

Community Advisory Council Proposal
The North Lawndale Community Advisory Council (CAC) has recently submitted a comprehensive plan for North Lawndale schools to remain open. They recommended four specialty foci for schools, including STEM programs for Chalmers and Dvorak; green technology and entrepreneurship at Penn leadership development for Pope and Plamondon and a fine arts focus at Crown. They also identified the following goals and objectives. Figure 1: CAC Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: All North Lawndale Schools will provide a high quality education to all students

Goal 2: Schools will provide social, emotional, and health services to North Lawndale students that will ensure that they are ready to learn

Goal 3: North Lawndale Families will appreciate the traditional neighborhood schools

Objective 1: Provide opportunities for all families to have access to quality pre-school education programs. Objective 2: Provide a curriculum that meets the needs of all students. Objective 3: All North Lawndale schools will have a safe and respectful environment. Objective 4: All North Lawndale schools will have on-going and transparent communication that connects the school, parent and community.

Objective 2-1: All families will have access to physical, emotional and mental health services. Objective 2-2: All schools will have social, emotional and health services that eliminate or significantly reduce the barriers to learning.

Objective 3-1: The North Lawndale School Staffs will do a great job of marketing their schools.

8

Save North Lawndale Schools

Community School Collaborative
We wholeheartedly support the plan put forth by the Community Advisory Council and the Lawndale schools. We envision ourselves working in concert with the North Lawndale Schools and the Community Advisory Council. The North Lawndale Schools and Community Advisory Council will focus on the activities within the school environs, while we provide a continuum of wrap around services and community based activities. To this end, we will create the North Lawndale Community School Collaborative to serve as an intermediary for the North Lawndale Schools, the Community Advisory Council, parents, students and local residents. Figure 2: North Lawndale Community School Collaborative Framework

Community School Collaborative

Continuum of wrap around services and community based activities

Community Advisory Council

Schools
School environs

9

Save North Lawndale Schools

We will work with schools and the CAC to strengthen our schools' ability to deliver favorable academic outcomes while serving as bona fide community centers focusing on the needs of the family, students and community members. Specifically, we will 1) develop programming that will reduce truancy and delinquency and cut the pipeline from school to prison; 2) enhance health, fitness and nutrition for students and their families, eradicate the food desert and expand opportunities for healthy eating and positive lifestyle changes; 3) augment the school curricula with workforce development training that will provide students with exposure to career choices in manufacturing, technology, health and the trades, beginning at the elementary school level; 4) provide basic skills and workforce training and development opportunities for parents 5) provide outlets for sports and recreation, arts and culture. The proposed structure and implementation of the community services plan are summarized in figures 3, 4, 5 and 6. We are looking to create win-win alternatives that will ease the financial burden of school operations while creating greater synergies between the City, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Public Libraries, City Colleges, the Chicago Park District, Chicago Police Department, our elected officials, community based organizations, local residents, parents and students. We welcome community based organizations, small businesses (as appropriate),clinics, etc. to rent space in school buildings, subject to approval of principals, LSC's and the schools' plans for improvement.We also recommend the conversion of classroom space to libraries where possible. Any questions regarding the plan may be directed to Valerie F. Leonard at 773-521-3137, or valeriefleonard@msn.com.

10

Save North Lawndale Schools

Figure 3: North Lawndale Community School Collaborative Operating Structure

Areas of Focus

How We Will Work

Academic Support Services

Health, Fitness and Nutrition
Truancy Prevention

North Lawndale Community Schools Collaborative

Workforce Development
Early Childhood Family Services

Lead Agencies

Better Boys Foundation (BBF) Sinai Community Institute (SCI)

Leadership and Mentoring

The North Lawndale Community Schools Collaborative will network with over 240 North Lawndale organizations and churches to provide a continuum supportive services and create a referral network for North Lawndale Schools. The Collaborative will also leverage the resources of city agencies, including Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Libraries, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Chicago Police

Research Sports and Recreation
Arts and Culture

Outreach and Civic Engagement
Capacity Building

11

Save North Lawndale Schools

Figure 4: North Lawndale Community School Program Logic and Evaluation Model Collaborative Operating Structure Overall Goal: To increase
academic outcomes for North Lawndale schools by: -reducing truancy -improving health , fitness and nutrition for students and their families -exposing school children to career options -providing basic skills training and workforce development for parents and local residents
Inputs Outputs Outcomes/Impact

Situation

The majority of North Lawndale schools are Level 2 or 3. North Lawndale is among the top 5 with respect to truancy.
Approximately 46% of North Lawndale children between 6 and 12 years of age were obese in 2003

Unemployment exceeds 50% among youth There is a need for more high quality programs for sports, recreation, arts and culture.

What We Invest -Staff -Students -Partners -Existing Program Models -Time -Money -Materials -Equipment -Access to partners' research What We Acquire -Additional Staff -Training/ Expertise

What We Do Youth Mentoring Develop Workforce Healthcare Family Counseling
Workshops Research

Who We Reach -Schools -Youth -Parents -Churches -Residents -Community -Key Decision Makers

Short Term Results -Improved school attendance rates -reduction in truancy and delinquency
-Improved student outcomes

Ultimate Impact to School and Community
-Improved student outcomes - Reduction in unemployment rates

Community Outreach Cultural enrichment Sports and Recreation

-Eradication of food deserts -Improved health and

Sample Evaluation Question: What is the effectivenessof utilizing after school programming and community based resources to increase school performance and retention?

12

Save North Lawndale Schools

Figure 5: North Lawndale Community School Implementation Timeline
2013 2014 3 Qtr 4 Qtr 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr 4 Qtr 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 2015 3 Qtr 4 Qtr

Other Opportunities
Planning

1 Qtr

2 Qtr

working NorthFormalize Lawndale is home to over 200 registered nonprofit organizations that could provide relationships significant support to our students. They could provide a continuum of services,Ongoing as well as rent space from some of the schools. If Implementation Develop governance The Mayor has indicated that he will be expanding early childhood education and child structure parent centers. This would Conduct be an marketing excellent time to activities refurbish the Herzl Child-Parent center and outreach to schools, Conduct needs and bring it back. parents, students and community organizations. assessment Evaluation The Mayor has recently re-organized CAPS to be more responsive to the community, Hire additional staff, subject to funding and final program including the youth. Strategic planning Conduct process structure.

Opportunities File periodic reports to governing body, funders, Recommendations Create formal entity regulators and community . Identification of potential partners and/or resources
Identify other resources Set stage for evaluation
Develop collateral materials Collect data for research, advocacy and evaluation purpose.

Develop and refine programs

Implement programs in focus areas

and outcome evaluation to assess effectiveness of program to impact systemic change in a cost effective manner.

Utilize findings to improve programs.

Develop program infrastructure Develop website

13

Save North Lawndale Schools

Figure 6: North Lawndale Community School Implementation Budget
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 210,000 216,300 222,789 12,000 12,360 12,731 6,500 6,695 6,896 5,000 5,150 5,305 25,000 25,750 26,523 10,000 10,300 10,609 15,000 15,450 15,914 15,000 10,000 1,500 1,545 1,591 6,000 6,180 6,365 3,500 3,605 3,713 2,500 2,575 2,652 $ 322,000 $ 305,910 $ 315,087

Staff (5 members) Bookkeeping Auditing Legal Insurance (Health, Liability, D&O) Supplies Rent Furnishings Equipment Mailing Utilities Software and subscriptions Advertising

Note: The staff will include a director, administrative assistant, two program coordinators and a research and policy coordinator.

14

Save North Lawndale Schools

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful