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Alderman Mitts, please let the Speer Academy expansion go on

Opinion

May 18th, 2017 6:10 PM

By Community Editor

I am one of the lucky ones.

My son, Andrew Anderson, is a CPS high school student who is getting a good education and staying out of trouble.  His teachers know him well and are helping him excel in the classroom.  And the odds are very high that he will be going to college.

So why would a public official block that opportunity for other Chicago children?

My son attends Speer Academy – a public charter school in the 37th Ward.  It specializes in teaching math, science and engineering, giving its students the chance to work in the careers of the future.  It's no wonder that more than 2,000 new students want to attend Speer.

To help accommodate those students and their families, Speer has plans to add 300 seats through an expansion of its current building.  The new building would be paid for by private sources, with no cost to Chicago taxpayers.

Yet Alderman Emma Mitts, whose approval is necessary for the Speer expansion to go forward, is refusing to support it.  Unless she changes her mind by the time the Zoning Committee meets on May 17, those 300 Chicago students and families will lose their chance for a brighter future.

On behalf of the parents of Speer Academy students, I am asking Ald. Mitts to let the school expansion go forward.  We know first-hand what a Speer education offers our children, and we want other Chicago students and their families to have that opportunity.

— Prancella Minor, Austin