The state of Illinois is adding $10 million to the Chicago Public Schools’ Safe Passage anti-violence program, according to the offices of the governor and mayor.
The additional state dollars, announced Thursday, will add 27 schools and new routes for 93 schools that currently have adult monitors along designated routes to school. The new funds come on top of the $1 million in additional dollars allocated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel last month to include 13 more schools in the anti-violence program.
That means altogether 40 schools will be added this school year to the list of those getting manned Safe Passage routes.
The Safe Passage program expanded under Emanuel as a way to address safety concerns after nearly 50 schools closed last year. Parents had worried that students transferred to different schools would encounter problems as they traveled along new routes.
Last month as the Emanuel administration announced the additional $1 million for Safe Passage, it also released statistics showing that fewer CPS students were victims of homicide during the 2013-14 school year – 24, compared to 36 in the previous school year.
CPS officials said the 27 new routes coming from Thursday’s announcement will not be staffed for the first day of school Tuesday. The Board of Education still needs to vote on the new contracts to staff the 27 new passages in late September, but officials hope to have the monitors in place by the fall. The program is expected to then serve 69,000 students.
The new state funding will add 600 new Safe Passage workers, for a total of 1,900. The added funding is expected to be welcome news in predominantly African-American parts of Chicago where Gov. Pat Quinn is hoping for a big turnout in his re-election bid in November and where Emanuel has shown slippage in support as he approaches his own re-election effort in February.
The 27 new Safe Passage schools are:
Thomas A. Hendricks Community Academy, Edward Jenner Academy of the Arts, Parkside Community Academy, Carter G. Woodson School, Emmett Louis Till Math & Science Academy, Arthur A. Libby Elementary School, Claremont Academy Elementary School, Clara Barton Elementary School, Ray Graham Training Center High School, Southside Occupational Academy High School, Alcott College Prep, Northside Learning Center High School, Uplift Community High School, Air Force Academy High School, Chicago Military Academy High School, Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy, Spencer Elementary Technology Academy, Lindblom Math & Science Academy, John H. Hamline Elementary School, Cesar Chavez Multicultural Academic Center Elementary School, Eric Solorio Academy High School, Irene C. Hernandez Middle School, Sandoval Elementary School, John Spry Elementary School, Telpochalli Elementary School, Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy, Spry Community Links High School.
Copyright © 2015, RedEye