Education A National Roundup

Parents Protest Boundaries for Long-Sought Chicago School

By Mary Ann Zehr — January 17, 2006 1 min read

Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval, a Democrat, and four mothers from Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood are protesting how the Chicago school district has drawn attendance boundaries for a new high school.

At a Jan. 9 press conference, the mothers expressed dismay that their children, now in junior high, won’t be able to attend Little Village High School, a $63 million school that opened last fall, because they live outside its attendance boundaries, according to Kal Lwanga, a spokesman for Sen. Sandoval.

The four women had participated for at least one day in a 19-day hunger strike in 2001 aimed at pressuring the Chicago district to follow through with a promise to build a new high school in the Little Village neighborhood. (“Close to Home,” March 10, 2004.)

The boundaries take in part of North Lawndale, which is mostly African-American, and part of Little Village, which is primarily Mexican-American. “Our policy on drawing attendance boundaries says that racial and ethnic diversity should be a priority,” said Mike Vaughn, a spokesman for the 424,000-student Chicago school district.