Gazette Chicago 02 02 2018 E Edition Page 1

By Igor Studenkov Byron Sigcho, director of the Pil- sen Alliance, told Gazette Chicago that public high schools in his community and other local neigh- borhoods are stuck in a cycle of declining enrollment. The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) allocate funding based on how many students attend each school. Many State and Federal grants work the same way. As en- rollment declines, schools lose fun- ding, which makes them less at- tractive to potential students, Sig- cho explained. That, in turn, leads to more enrollment declines and more cuts. A look at discretionary funds- the funding schools use to pay for supplies, field trips, and some educational programming-illus- trates the problem. In January 2017, CPS froze discretionary funds as it tried to cope with a budget short- fall. It subsequently unfroze some of that money in schools serving low income neighborhoods. Since then, the Illinois General Assembly has approved a new school fund- ing formula that brought more funding to CPS, however, most of the high schools that serve lo- cal low income areas actually will By Patrick Butler Thanks to help from determined community groups across the city, a proposal to eliminate a State law banning rent control in Chicago will appear on the March 20 ballot in ten wards, said Pilsen Alliance Director Byron Sigcho. Local wards whose ballots will feature the proposal are the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 12th, and 25th. Sigcho said the seemingly un- likely feat was accomplished by some 20 local groups ranging from the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Northside Action for Justice, Lugenia Burns Hope Cen- ter, Action Now, Metropolitan Ten- ants Organization, Northwest Side Housing Center, 33rd Ward Work- ing Families, and the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America (Chicago DSA). "We got 1,000 petition signa- tures in Pilsen alone and 4,000 sig- natures citywide urging repeal of the State law banning rent con- trols in Chicago," Sigcho said. At least six Illinois lawmakers, including local rep Teresa Mah (D- 2nd), support the referendum, Sig- cho said. Democratic gubernato- rial candidates Daniel Biss and J.B. Pritzker also support the measure. Sigcho said activists from com- munities as far flung as Uptown and Bronzeville will be pounding the pavement through March 20 to drum up support for the non-bind- ing referendum. "There's a lot of movement on this," Sigcho said. Opposition to referendum Despite all the well wishers, "we can't assume people are going A free, independent community newspaper since 1983. Near West/Tri-Taylor University Village West Loop South Loop West Haven Bridgeport/Armour Square Chinatown Bronzeville East Pilsen Heart of Chicago Area public high schools face cycle of declining enrollment and funding Hall of Fame will honor Chicago's impact on music Eliminating rent control ban to be on ballot in some wards Continued on page 11 February 2, 2018 Vol. 35, No. 10 By Madeline Makoul From underground rock bands to jazz and blues, Chicago has been a musical hub for decades. To com- memorate musicians influenced by the Windy City, Ron Onesti, president of the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, will create a Chicago Music Hall of Fame. Onesti counts 35 years on the Chicago music scene and is nego- tiating to bring the new Chicago Music Hall of Fame to Taylor Street. While the location of the Hall of Continued on page 8 Continued on page 2 CHICAGO Photo by Troy Heinzeroth MURAL RESTORED-Rosa Esquivel and Byron Sigcho of Pilsen Alliance in front of the restored mural at the former Casa Aztlan site. Esquivel organized a vigil seeking restoration of the outdoor and indoor murals. See page 14. INSIDE OTHER HIGHLIGHTS New Near South high school near done deal; residents push for Near West high school as well. See page 12. CTA extends pilot program for 31st Street bus line. See page 15. Editorial: School funding cuts result in vicious cycle of forced gentrification. See page 26. Moving of Taylor Street parking lot creates hardships for customers and local businesses. See page 3. Enjoy Gazette Chicago's guide to celebrate Valentine's Day in this community. See page 21. Alderman, architect differ on future of Stock Yards Bank building on Halsted Street. See page 6.

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