The initial investment was made a month ago, when Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that $1 million would go to support Safe Passage routes at six non-designated welcoming schools (i.e., schools that received students after the consolidations of 2013) and seven schools experiencing co-location or relocation. The investment from Governor Quinn’s Office will augment this effort, adding Safe Passage to 27 additional schools and expanding the number of Safe Passage workers at the program’s current schools.
Safe Passage, which has been proven to reduce incidents of crime and boost student attendance, will now encompass 133 schools and more than 69,000 students.
“Our first priority as a state must be the education and well-being of our children,” said Governor Quinn. “The Safe Passage program has proven to be a successful way to improve attendance, increase safety and boost learning in our classrooms. With this state investment, we can reach even more schools and help ensure safe passage for more students.”
By providing them with protection and peace of mind as they walk to and from school, Safe Passage allows students to focus on their learning rather than their safety. At this week’s Back-to-School rally, Mayor Emanuel thanked 1,200 Safe Passage workers for their dedication and encouraged them to maintain their commitment to Chicago’s children when school begins this Tuesday, September 2.
“Safe Passage is about more than just building a route to school. It is about building a route to college, career and beyond, so that once our kids get to school, they get the world-class education they deserve,” said Mayor Emanuel.
In addition to supporting the Safe Passage program, the $10 million from the Governor’s Office will add 40 after-school sites to the District’s Safe Haven program. Administered through the CPS Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, this program provides students and parents with a reliable, no-cost alternative on school breaks and during after-school hours.