Par­ents ob­ject to mov­ing school

MOUNT GREEN­WOOD Idea of re­lo­cat­ing Keller raises ire

Chicago Sun-Times - - News - BY ROS­ALIND ROSSI

Par­ents of Keller Gifted Mag­net stu­dents Wed­nes­day blasted a pro­posal to kick the sec­ond-high­est-scor­ing ele­men­tary school in the state out of its Mount Green­wood home to solve over­crowd­ing at a neigh­bor­hood school.

“Why dis­rupt an in­sti­tu­tion that is work­ing well?’’ Keller mom Sherry Swan asked Chicago School Board mem­bers. “Let’s not solve one prob­lem and cause an­other by turn­ing our back on the chil­dren of Keller.’’

A Chicago Pub­lic School of­fi­cial told Keller’s lo­cal school coun­cil Fri­day that over­crowd­ing at Mount Green­wood Ele­men­tary could be solved by us­ing Keller’s build­ing at 3020 W. 108th St., par­ents said.

Schools CEO Ron Hu­ber­man in­sisted that Keller would not be re­lo­cated this fall and said par­ents would be in­cluded in dis­cus­sions on over­crowd­ing so­lu­tions.

“We are here to­day be­cause his­tory teaches us that of­ten­times, the only thing that changes from a ‘pro­posed plan’ is­sued by CPS to the ul­ti­mate plan adopted by CPS is the dele­tion of the word ‘pro­posed,’ ” Keller par­ent James Kal­lia­nis Jr. told school board mem­bers.

Only 18 per­cent of Keller stu­dents live within walk­ing dis­tance — 1.5 miles — of the school; the rest are el­i­gi­ble for bus­ing, one CPS of­fi­cial said Wed­nes­day. Kal­lia­nis said most stu­dents are not “out­siders’’ who take buses to Keller. Nearly two-thirds live in the 19th Ward, he said.

Keller par­ents fear the same fate as Edi­son Gifted, which was booted from its prized North­west Side lo­ca­tion last year to solve neigh­bor­hood over­crowd­ing.

Ald. Gin­ger Ru­gai (19th) said the Mount Green­wood prin­ci­pal told her the school is so over­crowded it holds classes in an of­fice.

“I would fight to make sure [Keller] stays within our com­mu­nity. I don’t want to see it leave,’’ Ru­gai said.

Also Wed­nes­day, a top school board aide said at least one board mem­ber would at­tend each of this year’s pub­lic hear­ings on 14 pro­posed school shake­ups. There were com­plaints last year that board mem­bers killed off schools without at­tend­ing pub­lic hear­ings.

To see the sched­ule of pub­lic hear­ings that be­gin to­day on 14 school clo­sures and shake­ups, go to sun­times.com.

BRIAN JACK­SON~SUN-TIMES

Chris­tine McGovern protests the pos­si­ble re­lo­ca­tion of Keller at a hear­ing Wed­nes­day.

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