Protest over delayed opening of King College Prep

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On May 18, about 40 students and parents protested the one-year delay in converting King High School into a college preparatory school. The school already had admitted 53 students to launch the college prep program in September and held an orientation for them and their parents. At Catalyst press time, parents had not yet received notices from CPS with school reassignments.

The change of plans was announced at a meeting that was hastily arranged at King the day prior to the protest. There, school officials explained to parents that King had not generated enough freshmen for a fall class and the school needed more time to complete construction and repair work. (Plans to convert King began in 1998, giving the school more time to prepare than any other college prep.)

“This whole situation has been a nightmare for me,” says parent Valoria Robinson. “We either have to accept where they decide or go with our neighborhood school, which is either South Shore or Chicago Vocational. I don’t want my daughter at either.”

Also joining the protest were King seniors who expect to graduate next spring but fear the school will be closed if the college prep conversion is delayed. At the meeting, Jeff Gray of CPS Schools and Regions Department said King would remain open.