Burns not steady in support for schools

To the Editor:

How interesting to hear Ald. Will Burns (4th) waxing eloquently about the disruptiveness of school closures (“Canter site could help Kenwood,” April 16, 2014 Herald). While he says, “the Board of Education phased out Canter,” he was in fact a silent partner. His reluctant support for a phase out instead of outright closure came late and only after tremendous pressure from the community.

When proposed school closings were announced, several parents, LSC representatives, and public school advocates met with the alderman to ask for his support in keeping our public schools open. We were astounded to hear him explain why Canter should close, as he outlined plans for other specific schools in the 4th ward, even though he had had little interaction with the parents or LSC members.

Now he tells us he backs a plan to move Kenwood’s Academic Center into the Canter building. While that is one plan that should be on the table, any plan needs to come from a community process in which the needs of all children in all the schools are considered.

As the alderman is heading up a process that allegedly seeks community input for the best use of the building, we need assurance he will work with the broader community -and Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) – to discuss what is best for all of Hyde Park and not just the schools he cherry picks.

Joy Clendenning
Debra Hass
Hannah Hayes
Elizabeth Herring
Stacza Lipinski
Victoria Long