Chicago Pulls the Plug on Plans for a Barack Obama High School

The Chicago Board of Education has quietly decided to pull the plug on its previous plans to name a new high school after President Barack Obama.

According to the Daily News, multiple sources confirmed that the city will not move forward with plans to name a selective enrollment public high school after the longtime Chicago resident.

The sources said that the board will be citing policy issues as the reason for the canceled plans, but there is already speculation that the change of plans is about more than just an old rule.

The Daily News reported that there is indeed a policy against naming schools after someone who is still alive.

This is not an unusual rule for a school board, but, for some, it seemed unlikely that this policy was not considered before the plans were announced to the public.

Earlier this year, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the Chicago Sun-Times that the president was excited about the project.

“The president considers this a shovel-ready project,” he said at the time.

Despite Emanuel’s claims that the president was excited about the project, the White House never publicly addressed the claims or celebrated the plans for the new school.

President Barack Obama high school plans According to the Daily News, the White House’s silence could have resulted from complaints from African-American leaders in Chicago.

“It is believed that some African-American leaders in the city privately voiced qualms about the notion to City Hall, according to one source,” the Daily News reported. “There were other questions raised about the school, having nothing to do with the name.”

Those complaints were about the school’s location.

The board planned for the school to be built in a neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side, close to a similar school named after late Chicago Bears football star Walter Payton.

With a well-performing school already in the area, parents wanted the new school to be erected in a predominantly African-American area on the city’s South Side, the Daily News reported.

Other parents reportedly complained that $60 million was going to be used to build a new school instead of helping the struggling schools that already exist in Chicago’s urban neighborhoods.


Back to top