By May Paddor
Walking through Kelvyn Park High School, I realized how different our high school experience at New Trier is to students of a Chicago Public School school. Education is something we take for granted, but getting an education equal to New Trier’s standards at Kelvyn Park is hard.
Through a project called The Metropolitan Community Project (MCP), I have been able to meet students and faculty at Kelvyn Park High School and discuss the unequal opportunities offered between our schools.
Kelvyn Park High School is a CPS school for grades 7-12 in the Hermosa neighborhood of Chicago, near Logan Square.
Their class sizes have been dropping recently because of the amount of kids who have been going to charter schools instead.
This has significantly decreased their funding because there aren’t enough students to support the school.
I never thought about a lot of the things that are offered at our school, which aren’t at other schools.
Yes, I’m aware that a lot of other schools don’t offer sushi, or a coffee bar, or the latest technology.
But at Kelvyn Park, they didn’t even have a full-time nurse due to budget cuts. If a student gets hurt, the teacher is the one who is responsible and has to care for them.
According to New Trier Metropolitan Community Project faculty sponsor, Spiro Bolos, there is less than $11,500 spent per student in operational spending.
This cost includes teacher’s salaries, school supplies, coordinating student activities, and all the operations relating to the school district.
That is compared to the $23,571 spent per student at New Trier, according to our state’s “official source for information about public schools,” the Illinois Report Card.
Students are less likely to succeed because their school cannot supply them with the resources they need. They don’t have the college counselors or tutors to help students.
Whether you go to the Math Resource Room or Reading and Writing Center, it’s still there if you need it.
The students that I met through the Metropolitan Community Project want a better education. They want the opportunity and resources to challenge themselves. And why shouldn’t they get it?
Education isn’t a guarantee for success or a bright future, but with hard work and dedication it can be.
Distribution of education by wealth is unfair. It’s like assuming that everyone who can’t “afford” this education doesn’t want it or wouldn’t take advantage of it.
It feeds into this cycle of wealth that is hard for kids to break out of.
Not everyone will work hard and be motivated, but it’s not fair to take that chance away from people who are willing to put forth the effort of the chance to grow.
It’s like assuming everyone is guilty until proven innocent.
The Metropolitan Community Project advocates for more equitable funding plans among public schools by taking students from the schools and coming together at each school to witness the changes in environment.
After meeting at each school, the students and representatives meet with state legislatures to talk about making more equitable funding plans.
The MCP is a project run by teachers from Kelvyn Park, New Trier, formerly Richard T. Crane Medical Prep High School, Logan Square community organizer Juliet de Jesus Alejandre, and sociology professor Dr. Cynthia Taines at Northwestern.
The availability of an equal education should be an opportunity that every child is presented because education gives people opportunities.
This article was written by May Pador is a junior at New Trier High School. It was first published in the New Trier News newspaper.