As you may be aware, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) recently revoked the charter of Urban Prep Academies’ Bronzeville and Englewood campuses. This was done despite documented facts and metrics that Urban Prep does a far superior job of educating our Black boys than CPS-managed schools in general. CPS plans to take over management of Urban Prep, and potentially close down Urban Prep in the near future.
Urban Prep is appealing to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to provide charters to both campuses in hope that Urban Prep continues as a Black-operated and managed educational institution that successfully educates Black boys and young men.
COAL posits that we, as a community, must fight to ensure that Urban Prep is successful in securing charters from the State, and stop this CPS assault on our community.
Urban Prep is Illinois' only Black organization that manages and operates an educational institution specifically for Black boys in grades 9-12. Closing the schools will have a severely damaging impact on the education of Black boys in Chicago and on its most vulnerable communities.
It will also have negative economic ramifications as it will eliminate over 100 employees, whose demographic makeup is nearly 85% African American. There is only one Urban Prep.
This is why it is critical that we put in the effort and demonstrate the support required to ensure that Urban Prep remains a viable educational Black-operated and managed institution for young Black boys and young men, in our community.
The fight to provide young Black males in Chicago the education they deserve must continue. Urban Prep has been a catalyst and vehicle of proven change. It must survive and thrive. We must preserve, protect and be steadfast in our pursuit to change the trajectory of Black young men who are often seen as a threat and no more than a statistic in today’s society.
Our young men deserve the world; for 17 years Urban Prep has been effective in doing just that, giving our young Black men access to the world, access to opportunity and brighter futures.
COAL strongly asks that you join the fight to save Urban Prep as a Black-operated and independently managed institution that is extremely effective in educating our Black boys to young men.
Please attend the Thursday, January 19, 2023 Hearing to express your support for the State of Illinois chartering Urban Prep Academies. Your attendance is crucial in getting ISBE attention.
Please visit http://bit.ly/SaveUPPetition to sign the petition to save Urban Prep.
- Please write a letter of support to the ISBE (see below contact info).
- Please contact your Alderman, State Rep and State Senator to demand that each expresses their support for Urban Prep Academies securing a charter from the State for each of its three campuses, and that both caucuses, the Chicago City Council Black Caucus and the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, contact the Illinois State Board of Education to request approval of charters for Urban Prep. We must demand that our elected representatives enjoin the battle.
Finally, if your discretionary budget permits a donation of any amount, please make a donation to Urban Prep at www.urbanprep.org
COAL will see you at the Hearing.
COAL Board of Directors
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