Parents Flock to New Schools Expo

Shopping for schools brought hundreds of Chicago parents to Soldier Field Saturday.

More than 100 of Chicago’s public schools, including chart and contract school, participated in the annual New Schools Expo.

The expo, hosted by New Schools for Chicago in partnership with CPS and the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, offered parents opportunities to learn about their school options, talk one-on-one with school principals, teachers and alumni and even enroll in a school.

“This is the one day we bring everybody together to help parents navigate their students into great quality schools,” said Phyllis Lockett with New Schools for Chicago.

And hundreds of parents and families flocked to the event Saturday.

“[My son] is currently at a school where they only go up to fifth grade and I want to get more info about his education,” she said. “I’m just very involved in his education and wanting him to get better education.”

Lois Lewis said she doesn’t want her address determining what school her 13-year-old daughter has to go to.

“She don’t got to go to any neighborhood school, and she gets to pick the school,” Lewis said. “It ain’t because of the address.”

The expo comes just days after the Chicago Board of Education approved seven new charter schools, amid protests from the Chicago Teachers Union and supporters of public schools.

Some parents said the expo does more harm than good.

Mom’s supporting neighborhood schools stood outside the event handing out fliers to parents entering the expo.

“They are saying this is choice, yet they are not advertising any public schools at all,” said protestor Rousemary Vega. “That doesn’t give any parents choice.”

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