Prominent Attorney Carmen Lonstein, a Senior Partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP and Board Member of IPRAC, welcomed Governor Pat Quinn to the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture on August 20th for the signing of SB630. During her remarks she acknowledged the commitment of Governor Quinn to make IPRAC a Museum In The Park.
Key legislators in the passing of SB630 were Rep. Cynthia Soto and State Senator Iris Martínez. The bill seeks to address the issue of arbitrary school closings by CPS without any community engagement. The following provisions are some of the highlights of the bill:
•School Actions have to be announced by CPS every year by December 1st – before the application deadline for selective enrollment schools.
•CPS must issue a written announcement explaining its reasons for wanting to take a school action.
•Hearings will be run by Independent Hearings Officers and can’t be held until 30 days after the CPS announcement of the proposed School Actions.
•CPS must have School Transition Plans to support and aid students and schools impacted if and when School Actions are approved by the CPS Board.
Among the many prominent leaders in attendance from various community organizations were Block Togethers, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Design for Change and the Grand Boulevard Federation, José Sánchez, CEO of Norwegian, Rev. Freddy Santiago, Rebaño Church and Rev. Wilfredo de Jesús, New Life Convenent, as well as State Rep. Luis Arroyo.