Jul 262023

Great news! Urban Prep Wins in Court!

There is blessedly good news to share on the Fight to Save Urban Prep front:

Urban Prep has won its fight to continue to provide a quality secondary education for our Black boys and young men! via a most appropriate ruling by the Hon. Anna Loftus, Cook County Circuit Court judge.

In a 25-page decision, Judge Loftus made it clear that CPS had violated the State’s moratorium on school closures in Chicago, a moratorium that’s in place until a partially elected school board is seated in January of 2025. The October 2022 revocations of Urban Prep charters are null and void, no if, ands, or buts about it!

Excerpted from Judge Loftus’ 23-page Memorandum Decision & Orders
Urban Prep’s Motion for Permanent Injunction is GRANTED. This Court finds that:

(1) Urban Prep’s Declaratory Judgment action is a permissible collateral attack, and therefore, the Court has jurisdiction.
(2) Urban Prep has succeeded on the merits of its Declaratory Judgment Action; CPS’ non-renewal decisions violated § 34-18.69 and are void.
(3) Urban Prep has established the remaining factors required for a permanent injunction—ascertainable right in need of protection, irreparable harm, and inadequate legal remedy.
(4) The balance of equities favors the overwhelming public interest in the health and safety of the students and supports the issuance of an injunction.
(5) A permanent injunction is entered on today’s date requiring CPS to allow Urban Prep-Englewood and Urban Prep-Bronzeville to operate under the 2022-2023 charters until the parties agree on a renewal contract.
(6) CPS must renew the charters for Urban Prep-Englewood and Urban Prep-Bronzeville for at least the 2023-2024 school year by the end of the first semester of the 2023-2024 school year.
(7) CPS must abide by the moratorium and thus may not close, consolidate, or phase-out Urban Prep-Englewood and Urban Prep-Bronzeville until after the moratorium expires on January 15, [2025].

Congratulations to Troy Boyd, Jr. Urban Prep COO, Dennis Lacewell, Urban Prep CAO, and Attorneys Eric S. Grodsky and Eric B. Bernard, all of whom masterfully weathered a political CPS assault, focused on demonstrating its muscle and shutting down Urban Prep, with little regard to the education of our Black boys and young men.

A huge thank you to COAL members Atty Jim Montgomery and Atty Victor Henderson who devoted hours working with COAL leadership to strategize on COAL’s advocacy to SAVE Urban Prep, as well as working directly with the Urban Prep team.

A huge thank you to COAL membership who took a visible stand in support of Urban Prep, including signing a strong public letter challenging the Mayor and Governor to address the travesty of shutting down Urban Prep, and in attending two press conferences to underscore COAL’s strong advocacy on the issue.

A huge thank you to you, COAL’s greater community of interest, for taking action when asked, from signing Urban Prep’s petition of support to penning letters to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and making calls to the Mayor and Governor.

This is a big win for the education of our Black boys and young men; it is a big win for Urban Prep Academies and its curriculum centered on Black achievement, strong character-building and excellent outcomes; it is a big win for Urban Prep students and their families who benefit from said curriculum which provides a path to college for 100% of its graduates; it is a big win for the rule of law over naked political maneuvering; it is a big win against systems that devalue our community, our institutions and our voice; and importantly, it is a big win for having the courage to stand up for what is right and not being afraid to defend one’s own;

And this is not the end of this saga, rather this is an opportunity for a fresh beginning. COAL will continue to work with Urban Prep going forward, and COAL will implement strategies that support and assist our high school graduates, as they matriculate through college and university, and launch their chosen careers, toward ensuring our young men are positioned to succeed.

That is our commitment.


COAL Board of Directors

“The time to work seriously and collectively, to improve the state of our Community, is upon us…”

Let Us be intentional in all aspects of the Work that must be done.

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