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Two Schools: Putting A Face On Inequity

by dusty rhodes + NPR illinois  |  05/11/2017

Too often, when I report on the school funding debate that has been going on in our state capitol for the past several years, I get bogged down in numbers — school district numbers, dollar amounts, bill and amendment numbers assigned to various reform plans, vote numbers tallying up support for each one.

This story, however, is about school funding without numbers.

Instead, we’ll hear from four students who recently visited the statehouse.

Jacob Imber and Mackenzie Fleming are both juniors at New Trier High School in Winnetka. Instead of describing it myself, I asked them to explain what it’s known for.

“I would say New Trier is known for the amount of wealth that goes into that school, as well as kind of the alumni that come out of it,” Mackenzie says.

“I think New Trier is also known for having a really extensive extracurricular program, and the arts are really well-funded,” Jacob says.

Jose Florentino and Yaritza Perez attend Kelvyn Park High School on Chicago’s northwest side. Again, I asked the students to describe their own school.

“I believe that Kelvyn Park is known as like a community school,” Jose says, “where people are, like, trying to pass their classes. They’re trying to do their best. And they wish to join, like, a lot of clubs and sports, but we don’t really have the privileges to have them.”

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