NORWOOD PARK — A city policy that gives graduates of Chicago Public Schools preferential treatment in city hiring "could be viewed as unfair" and should be changed, according to three aldermen.
In a letter to Department of Human Resources Commissioner Soo Choi, Ald. Mary O'Connor (41st), Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th) and Marty Quinn (13th) urged her to modify the policy that ensures that at least 20 percent of the candidates referred for a position that has the CPS hiring consideration are CPS graduates.
"We feel that this policy creates an unfair hurdle to interested candidates that based on all other merits being equal, are now viewed as less preferable," the aldermen wrote in the letter sent Monday.
All city homeowners pay property taxes — nearly half of which are used to fund CPS — while many residents of the 41st, 19th and 13th Wards make "significant sacrifices" to pay for parochial school tuition, according to the letter.
"To treat one group of tax-paying residents differently could be viewed as unfair," the aldermen wrote.
The aldermen said the policy — which they acknowledged is not subject to City Council approval — should be modified to a "more general preference that would benefit all applicants currently living in Chicago."
That would ensure all Chicagoans "have the same access to employment opportunities for municipal employment," according to the letter.
Mayoral spokeswoman Kelley Quinn did not respond to questions Thursday about the hiring preference, but has told DNAinfo Chicago that "the hiring preference policy encourages Chicago Public School students to stay in school and get their diploma so they are prepared for college and a career."
Last month, the union for the city's firefighters threatened to sue the city over the policy, which gives graduates of CPS high schools preference in the ongoing round of firefighter recruitment.
O'Connor's ward includes Norwood Park and Edison Park, neighborhoods where a high number of city workers live. O'Shea's ward includes Mt. Greenwood and Beverly, and Quinn represents Garfield Ridge and Clearing, which are also home to a high number of city workers.
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