Cancel $60M "Obama Prep" selective enrollment high school!

Mayor of Chicago, Chicago City Council and Chicago Board of Education

Chicago does not need another selective enrollment high school (SEHS), like the project planned for the Near Northside (formerly known as “Obama Prep”), within a few miles of two other selective enrollment schools.

Chicago Public Schools needs a real master plan for facilities and education policies that will provide true equity: the guarantee of a high-quality, well-resourced education at a publicly-operated school in every neighborhood of the city.  

The city’s schools, particularly at the high school level, resemble a caste system where resources are distributed unequally and are dependent on a child’s test scores, furthering the stratification in our city.

Children should not have to compete in an intellectual Hunger-Games system to attend a well-resourced high school. Parents want, and children deserve guaranteed access to a quality public high school not based on lotteries and selective criteria.

Less than 2%---only 210---students, applying to SEHSs will be helped by this use of $60 million dollars. Think of how many teachers and programs $30M will save and students’ lives will be positively impacted by the return of these TIF funds to CPS.

Cancelling the Obama Prep project would free up $60 million in TIF funds, and $30M of that could then be directed back to the taxing body it was withheld from, the Chicago Public Schools. It would also free up another $500k that CPS is currently paying a consultant to search for a location for this unnecessary project.

We must stop perpetuating educational inequity, especially during these broke times, and say no to any new selective enrollment high school and yes to fully-funded existing schools for all.  

Petition by
Raise Your Hand Action
Chicago, Illinois

To: Mayor of Chicago, Chicago City Council and Chicago Board of Education
From: [Your Name]

CPS, cancel the $60M Obama Prep project. Mayor Emanuel and Alderman Burnett, return $30M in TIF Funds to CPS to invest in our public schools.