Chicago News Roundup: Hundreds automatically signed up for military-style courses at CPS

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Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. This is an approximately 5 minute read that will educate you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon it will be cloudy with scattered showers and a high near 59. Tonight it will be mostly cloudy with a low around 53. Tomorrow it will be mostly sunny with a high near 83.

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Hundreds automatically signed up for military-style education classes at CPS, internal watchdog says

Even though the program is supposed to be voluntary, hundreds of CPS freshmen — mostly from the south and west sides of town — have been automatically enrolled in military-style education classes over the past two years. according to a new report.

“In some CPS high schools, [Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps] enrollment often functioned as a pre-ticked box: students were automatically placed in the JROTC and had to be removed if they did not want to,” according to the report summary from the office of the public school inspector. Chicago. General.

“Sometimes it was possible; sometimes it was not. Some opt-out procedures were never explained or were not easily accomplished when attempted. »

For two consecutive years, four of 37 CPS schools with JROTC programs have enrolled 100% of their freshmen, according to the inspector general. Four other schools enrolled between 91 and 99 percent of freshmen, the report said.

The findings, published today, were prompted by a June 2021 report Chicago Chalkbeat Report, which detailed, among other findings, that automatic enrollment has occurred at “smaller high schools on the south and west sides of town that serve a predominantly low-income student body. Larger high schools on the north side of town, where more students are white, have significantly lower percentages of freshmen enrolled in the program.

Principals have given a variety of reasons for their high enrollment in JROTC, including a shortage of physical education teachers or the need to cut those teachers due to lack of funding, the inspector general of the JROTC found. SPC.

According to the report, some principals said the ROTC classes saved money because the CPS and the U.S. Department of Defense shared the costs.

Stefano Esposito has more on the Inspector General’s report here.

More news you need

  1. The Archdiocese of Chicago has agreed to pay $1.2million to a man who said he was sexually abused at age 12 by Daniel McCormack, a defrocked priest, the man’s lawyer said yesterday , reports AP. The settlement before a lawsuit was filed marks the final chapter in the story of McCormack, one of the most notorious pedophiles in the history of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
  2. A judge reprimanded a mother today for being ‘extremely negligent’ after her 8-year-old son allegedly found a gun under his bed and brought it to school, where it exploded and grazed a classmate. She was charged with misdemeanor child endangerment.
  3. Illinois today became the first state in the Midwest to ban unmarked “ghost guns” with Governor JB Pritkzer signing a law requiring all firearms, including 3D-printed ones, to be marked with a serial number. Tina Sfondeles shares more about the new law that makes almost untraceable “ghost weapons” illegal.
  4. After a three-year hiatus to determine the cause of high lead levels in Chicago’s drinking water, Mayor Lightfoot today got the go-ahead to resume installing water meters in 180,000 homes without them . Water management commissioner Andrea Cheng assured the aldermen that the facilities would be accompanied by significant protective measures.
  5. Chicago taxpayers will spend $1.9 million to compensate surviving relatives of a man murdered by an off-duty Chicago police officer in 2017. Two years ago, police officer Lowell Houser was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder in the 2017 shooting of Jose Nieves.
  6. A Cook County judge has given new life to an exoneration request from James Bannister, who was twice convicted of a 1989 double murder near the Illinois Institute of Technology. The judge called an evidentiary hearing on Monday to expand on a videotaped confession from a key witness in the second trial, and prosecutors alleged they failed to share information about another witness who also recanted.
  7. Residents of Cook County will soon be able to apply for a program offering $500 a month, no strings attached, for two years, as county officials try to address poverty and racial inequality. The program will have room for 3,250 randomly selected residents, regardless of immigration status, for two years, and it will be funded by federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.

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A bright

The Court Theater will receive the 2022 Regional Theater Tony Award

Court Theatre, the professional theater at the University of Chicago, and one of the nation’s most critically acclaimed theater companies, can add a most coveted honor to its treasure trove of awards: the 2022 Regional Theater Tony Award. The news was announced this morning.

The honor comes with a $25,000 grant to the Hyde Park Theater Company currently in the middle of its 67th season.

The Special Tony Award, which annually recognizes a professional nonprofit regional theater from across the country for fostering “a continuing level of artistic achievement contributing to the growth of theater nationwide,” is awarded by the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing, based on the recommendation of the American Theater Critics Association.

The Court Theater in Hyde Park is the 2022 winner of the Regional Theater Tony Award.

The Court Theater is the sixth theater in Chicago to receive the regional Tony, joining the Steppenwolf Theater (1985), the Goodman Theater (1992), the Victory Gardens Theater (2001), the Chicago Shakespeare Theater (2008) and the Lookingglass Theater ( 2011).

“[Court Theatre’s] their dedication to promoting local talent, art and theater within their community and their impact nationally, makes it a true honor to showcase their work,” said Heather Hitchens, President and CEO of the management of the American Theater Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, president. of the Broadway League, in the official announcement.

The Court Theater was founded in 1955 as an amateur summer theater company at the University of Chicago, then became a professional Equity company in 1975. It moved to its current location – the 251-seat Abelson Auditorium at 5535 S. Ellis – in 1981, and two years later incorporated as an independent non-profit organization under Artistic Director Charles Newell since 1994 and Executive Director Angel Ysaguirre since 2018.

Miriam Di Nunzio has more on the award here.

From the press gallery

Your daily question ☕

What do you think should be done with vacant lots in your neighbourhood?

Email us at [email protected] and we might feature your response in the next afternoon edition.

Yesterday we asked you: What do you think of Mayor Lightfoot’s decision to impose an earlier curfew for unaccompanied minors in Chicago?

Here’s what some of you said…

“A good start. Now we need the police, prosecutors and judges to do their job.” —Virginia V. Mann

“Legislative overreach and a desperate attempt to solve a problem.” —Rebecca Stamm

“The curfew must be enforced and parents held responsible for minors as before.” —Taketa Pies

“I think it was a knee-jerk reaction because she felt she had to show that she was taking some kind of action.” —Dennis Davis

“It’s a good idea. It’s for their safety and that of the people who visit and work downtown. —Victoria Houlden

“It seems unfair to kids who are well behaved and can have fun.” — Daniel Rankin

“Good idea but it won’t help.” — Beverly Davis

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