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Why Ames? Follow the Money!... Ames is not for sale!

[Editor's Note: The following statement was read to the five members of the Chicago Board of Education during public participation at the November 20, 2013 meeting of the Board. Board members Andrea Zopp and Mahalia Hines were absent from the meeting. The statement below was provided to us by Ms. Koutny. George N. Schmidt, Editor].

I am incensed that Chicago public Schools is insisting on going forward with its plans to turn Ames Middle School into a military Academy when the community has spoken so strongly against it. The parents of Logan Square want a choice of where to send their children. If they dont want to send them to a military school, what are the other options? What will happen to the children when their local community school is taken away?

As Elizabeth Koutny continued to charge corruption on the part of Alderman Roberto Maldonado, the Board secretary screamed "Time!" and security blocked the microphone and pushed the speaker away from the podium. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Why Ames? With the closings last year of fifty schools, cant another location be found for a military school? Does this have something to do with the fact that Alderman Maldonado owns numerous properties in his ward? Will the military school make his property values and rents go up? Is that why it is so important that Ames be the chosen site?

Why Ames? Community activists developed and fought for the creation of Ames in 1998. They have worked to get grant money to open a much needed health clinic on site as well as a nationally recognized parent mentor program. Ames has many after school programs for the students as well as the community.

Why Ames? They say that Ames is underutilized, but the enrollment at Ames was never a problem until Alderman Maldonado and his cronies changed the enrollment boundaries in a backroom deal without inviting the community.

Why Ames? Maybe because it is a beautiful new facility with a large field for the cadets to march on. Maybe people in power dont feel that these children can go to college and be professionals and that their only option is to be a soldier. Maybe Alderman Maldonado wants Ames as part of his fiefdom.

Why Ames? Follow the money! AMES IS NOT FOR SALE!



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