CHICAGO – The decision Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Stacy Davis Gates made regarding her children’s education is the same decision many West Side families must make as a result of inequitable investment in public school infrastructure, said state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, who is also reiterating his call for a new high school to serve families in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood.

“President Davis Gates had to make a choice that is familiar for families across the South and West sides of the city,” Ford said. “In the Austin community, we struggle to access resourced schools to meet the quality standards parents are looking for. So instead of unfairly questioning an educator’s lifetime of commitment to public schools, we should be asking what more needs to be done to strengthen our commitment to public education in these communities of color.”

Since 2006, Ford has advocated for a new high-quality, comprehensive community high school for the Austin neighborhood. He envisions a modern learning environment that would be the pride of the community and would be the clear choice for parents living in that area over private institutions. Ford notes that Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, an Austin resident, has chosen to send his child to a public magnet school miles away from the community.

“When schools fail students, parents look elsewhere to give their children real opportunities for a brighter future,” Ford said. “A person’s income or zip code should not predict a child’s school success, which is why we need to responsibly invest in new, state-of-the-art learning environments that can spark opportunity and create better futures.”

For more information, please contact

Rep. La Shawn FordRep. La Shawn Ford

8th District

Springfield Office:
239-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-5962
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Chicago Office:
5051 W Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60651
(773) 750-0866