I commend District 15's Board of Education for their community school proposal. There is a high concentration of poverty in the Northeast corner of Palatine, and at least Babcock, Ekeberg and Chapman were willing to put a plan in motion to address these very serious issues.
I am an immigrant from Mexico who came here in my teenage years. I speak from experience when I say that the cycle of poverty cannot be broken without some intervention. While the loss of Osage Park was not ideal, I still believe the plan had merits.
First of all, it would provide a neighborhood school so that much of the district's population wouldn't be bused out of their neighborhood. This proximity would also provide parents an opportunity to be more involved in their child's school. Partnerships with the hospital and Harper College would have brought ESL classes, job training and health care.
The division of race and poverty in Palatine is real and seems to be growing. I hope that we can give Babcock, Ekeberg and Chapman another chance to continue their sincere efforts at helping our community and providing the resources needed to fight the effects of poverty in our neighborhoods.
Juan A. Jacobo