The school - Southland College Prep Charter School - almost didn't get off the ground. Because the public school was protecting their turf.
This is a great outcome for the community and for the families involved. From the Chicago Sun-Times:
“This is what happens when adults do their jobs,” Ronald Bean, the school’s chairman, told the audience at Saturday’s graduation ceremony at the Harris Theater at Millennium Park. “This is the result of willing students, a committed faculty, a dedicated administration and a board that understands what its job is.”
Four years ago, Southland College Prep Charter High School was fighting to get up and running. Rich Township High School District 227, where Southland’s students come from, argued that the charter school would divert much-needed state aid and sued to shut it down.
The districts since have put the conflict behind them and Southland’s first group of graduates, who got into the school not based on academic performance but by lottery, were offered more than $7 million in merit scholarships and are headed to prestigious colleges like Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Tufts, Penn and Columbia University.