If you believe that OPRF should be renamed Oak Park and River Forest + Austin High School, based on having seen some black kids at the Ridgeland stop of the Green Line el, then you will presume that the current discussion of new residency procedures at the school are an admission that we've been paying to educate half the West Side — or from the River Forest geography is it half of Maywood?
More likely the coming procedural changes at OPRF are the result of having responsibility for monitoring residency shift from an assistant principal to the intense gaze of Cheryl Witham, the school's CFO, and the IT guy Mike Carioscio.
The school board has given an initial nod to their plan to shift the residency process from the school chasing those suspected of border jumping in a costly cat-and-mouse game, to forcing all parents to prove their kids belong in the school. Under the new plan, homeowners would join renters in proactively providing proof of residency before the school year begins. Parents who rent apartments would be required to show a current lease at the start of the school year rather than having the school record when a lease might be expiring and tracking down parents at that point.
The proposed change is similar to a process adopted in Oak Park School District 97 schools a few years ago. There it has worked smoothly and has been perceived as fair and efficient.
We expect the same will be true of the system adopted at OPRF in the near future.
Good news for local taxpayers. Not so good for the el watchers.
Answer Book 2017
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