Multiple organizations protested Feb. 1 over the possible closing of several Chicago public schools. | Erin Brown/Sun-Times

Schools provide stability to students, neighborhoods

SHARE Schools provide stability to students, neighborhoods
SHARE Schools provide stability to students, neighborhoods

We applaud the Dec. 4 Sun-Times editorial, “Why neighborhoods freak out when schools, stores and churches close” for perfectly articulating the stability that Chicago’s schools provide to the students they teach and the communities they serve.

As an independent, nonprofit charitable organization, Big Shoulders Fund supports a network of 75 schools across Chicago that provide a values-based education in a safe and structured environment. We are committed to a holistic approach that includes vigorous academics, investing in programs that provide scholarship and enrichment, leadership development for teachers and operational improvements for schools.

SEND LETTERS include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

We have more than doubled our investment from $12 million in 2012, and we are on track to invest $30 million this year, ensuring that our schools remain vibrant and rooted in community.

These efforts have allowed schools like St. Ethelreda, a Big Shoulders Fund network school in Auburn Gresham whose parish closed in 2007, to continue to thrive with growing enrollment trends and academic excellence. Denise Spells, the school’s principal, was even recognized by the NCEA for her commitment to her school and her community.

Chicago families need a reason to stay in the city, and quality school networks like Big Shoulders Fund provide a major incentive. Thank you to the Editorial Board for calling attention to this important issue.

James J. O’Connor, co-chairman,

John A. Canning Jr., co-chairman,

Monsignor Ken Velo, co-chairman,

Josh Hale, resident and CEO,

Big Shoulders Fund Executive Committee

Confusing shutdown

I am confused. The government is in a partial shutdown because Congress will not supply the president with the funding he demands for a border wall. Why is he arguing with Congress? Didn’t he say numerous times in his campaign that Mexico was going to pay for the wall?

George Milkowski, West Ridge

Who’s minding the store?

The upcoming mayoral election is replete with candidates. Among those who have tossed their hat into the ring are a few already elected officials: Dorothy Brown, La Shawn Ford, Susana Mendoza and Toni Preckwinkle.

Having a job and applying for a different job is not necessarily a problem and is everyone’s right. However, being elected to a position and looking to be elected to another position is — in my opinion — a conflict of interest.

Illinois does not have a resign-to-run law, but perhaps it should. I understand that wanting to serve the public is not a conflict per se, but spending time and effort campaigning for an elected position when you’ve already been elected to serve is a betrayal of faith to the voters who cast their ballot for you and validation to those who did not.

Elected officials tend to neglect some duties and some may misuse the resources of the office they hold when running for another office. In fact, two of the above-mentioned names are engaged in a petition challenge in addition to campaigning. Who’s minding the store while the job-hoppers are on the stepping-stone campaign trail?

Tanya Wharton, West Pullman

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