The city of Chicago hosted their annual charter school fair for parents and students Saturday afternoon.
The concourse at Solider Field was packed with hundreds of families hoping to learn about education.
Jo Michelle Hale and her daughter are believers in the charter schools this expo promotes. About 130 of the privately run schools that take public money are now in the city of Chicago.
“We go get a lot of college prep and so i don’t think i would have gotten too much of what i get now,” said charter senior Nafatari Hale.
“Depending on what the parents needs are and the child’s needs are there is a school for them,” added her mother.
Just this week, dozens of parents and students camped outside CPS headquarters, many of them opponents of charter schools. The board of education approved seven more for the city, just as traditional public schools are being closed.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who supports charter expansion, came to the expo.
Organizers say they’re not in competition with traditional schools, they just want to expand choice, “It’s about innovation, it’s about the opportunity to create different kinds of models of schools, opportunities to try to have higher performance. I think when you look at the city of Chicago there’s a clear demand for high performing schools, no matter what type, “ Said Jelani McEwen of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools.