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CPS sets aside $70M for long-sought Chinatown H.S.

Chicago Sun-Times Education This Week
Education This Week is our weekly recap of the biggest news in education affecting the Chicago area, Illinois, the region and the nation. Today’s edition was written by Nader Issa, the Sun-Times’ education beat reporter. Follow him on Twitter here.

Good morning,
A few months ago we told you that yearslong fight for a Chinatown high school wasn’t over. Newly appointed Ald. Nicole Lee (11th) said she’d make it a priority to push for a Near South neighborhood school.
This week, the idea got another major boost: $70 million in capital funding from Chicago Public Schools, likely enough to fully fund the project when added to the $50 million the State Legislature set aside for the school two years ago.
Now this of course doesn’t mean a new building is approved yet — a site hasn’t even been selected. But the funding hurdle is a major one to clear.
“We have to determine a site and there’s still plenty of work to be done,” State Rep. Theresa Mah told me. She spearheaded the proposal in the Legislature.
Mah said it’s vital the selected site serves all three communities — Chinatown, Bridgeport and the South Loop.
“There’s a lot of interest in this project, the community’s been asking for this for a long time. This is a good sign, and I’m happy to see that it’s moving forward. But it also can’t be rushed and it can’t be done without full community input.
A CPS spokeswoman told me the district expects to kick off a planning process this summer.
Any official plans could still be months or years away, depending how high of a priority this becomes for CPS. If planning reaches that point, the Board of Education would then need to approve the new building.
For now, the school board is set to vote on this $70 million allocation later this month as part of the district’s overall budget. You can check out the nitty gritty below, plus our latest stories on a special education prom, the board’s latest member and a historic donation to Loyola University.
Until next week,
Nader Issa, Sun-Times education reporter
Got a question you’d like me to look into? Respond to this email or send an email to and your question may be answered in an upcoming newsletter!
CPS sets aside $70M for long-sought Chinatown H.S., millions more for school playgrounds in new capital budget
Hair spray, Cinderella dresses and sleepless nights of anticipation mark prom at CPS special needs high school
Far South Side organizer appointed to Chicago school board
Loyola University Chicago gets $100 million to support students of color — the largest donation in school history
What I’ve been reading this week
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Nader Issa

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