BRONZEVILLE — The principal of Mollison Elementary made a personal appeal to Mayor Rahm Emanuel for more money for her school and others that accepted students from schools that closed last year.
“It’s going to take them more than a year to heal from these wounds,” said Kimberly Henderson, principal of Mollison, which doubled its enrollment after Overton Elementary was closed.
She said Emanuel said he would talk to Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett on behalf of Mollison.
Henderson met with Emanuel for several minutes on Thursday after the mayor finished announcing road repair funding in front of the school at 4415 S. Martin Luther King Drive.
Henderson said she is struggling to fund all the resources for the 500 students at the school after $240,000 was cut from the school’s budget for the 2014-15 school year. She said $100,000 of those cuts came from one-time assistance for schools welcoming students from closed schools.
The school was forced to lay off a kindergarten teacher and case worker because of the cuts, Henderson said. And she's worried the school’s restorative justice program to limit discipline problems in the school may fall by the wayside as the school's counselor takes up the case worker’s role.
“I’m having to make really tough decisions about what do we keep and what do we get rid of,” Henderson said. “Restore our funding, really that’s the key for us.”
Third Ward Ald. Pat Dowell said she also pressed the mayor for more funding for welcoming schools while he was in Bronzeville.
“My idea was to use some of the TIF money,” Dowell said. “At Mollison, that would mean they could hire back some teachers.”
Dowell said she also had meeting scheduled with Byrd-Bennett to talk about more money for welcoming schools.
CPS officials were not immediately available to comment.
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