Lawsuit Could See Chicago Public Schools End Year Early

A lawsuit surrounding Chicago Public Schools could see the school year end early, CPS says.

Vanessa Valentin’s children are in special education programs at two CPS schools.

“We need to work with CPS to figure out how to keep our kids safe and in school,” Valentin said.

She says she is worried about the possibility that those schools may close early because of a shortage of funds.

“As a parent, I will volunteer to keep my school open with other parents to keep kids safe,” she said.

That is why she was at the Daley Center Wednesday, taking part in a lawsuit to force the state to change its funding formula, one they say discriminates against Chicago students based on their race and ethnicity.

“The state did not, in any way, deny that the state of Illinois did not have the right to continue the practice of discriminating against Chicago Public School students,” Said Leon Finney of the Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church.

Without more than $250 million in state funding it was counting on, CPS says, it could be forced to end classes this year on June 1 instead of the 20.

“There are thousands and thousands of parents who are very concerned,” says Pastor Lou Ramos. “What is going to happen to our children?”

But the state says Chicago gets more of its fair share of state money.

Illinois Education Secretary Beth Purvis says the funding formula is broken.

“As to your question, is it discriminatory against the children in Chicago?” she asked. “No.”

But Chicago disagrees--and Gov. Bruce Rauner must do something to fix it, Mayor Rahm Emanuel says.

“Minority children, poor children across the state of Illinois, because of the funding formula, are treated as second class citizens,” Emanuel said.

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