By: Jerad Karasek
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public School officials announced plans on July 6 for a new $70 million high school on the Near West Side. This school is a part of the nearly $1 billion budget the city of Chicago has set aside for new projects.
Part of the purpose for this new school is surrounding the overcrowding issue at Taft High School. The school is currently the most overcrowded public high school in the city according to data from district officials., and this new school will serve seventh-, eighth-, and ninth-grade students who would otherwise attend a school that already has too many students. The new school is currently being constructed in the Dunning neighborhood on the corner of Oak Park Avenue and Irving Park Road.
Some of the other plans included in the nearly $1 billion budget are a full-day pre-K initiative for all 4-year-olds in the district, and facility improvements for all currently existing public schools in Chicago. Another notable change to policy is the requirement for students to get accepted to college, trade school, or the military, or receive a job offer before being to eligible to receive a diploma. This new requirement was announced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and will be in effect starting 2019.
Public hearings will be held on July 16 at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 42 W. Madison to discuss the operating budget and on July 19 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the capital projects at Truman College, Malcolm X College, and Kennedy King College.