This page provides information and current events of interest to individuals and businesses in the Chicago area.  Check back frequently for updates and visit our Contact page to submit a question or comment.  Updates to this page are often posted on our Twitter feed.

Chicago Public Schools Make Room for More Students in Alternative Programs

Chicago Public School CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett recently announced an iniitative that will provide alternative programs to approximately 2,500 students.  The initiat is aimed to improve education access for students who have fallen behind their peers or who need alternative forms of education provided.  Ms. Byrd-Bennet hopes that this program will reduce the children in Chicago that are not currently enrolled in school. That number is currently estimated to be more than 50,000.


Information On Proposed Immigration Reform Bill

A bill proposing comprehensive immigration reform was introduced in the Senate.  The bill's highlights include: increased H-1B cap, a new nonimmigrant category for unskilled workers, and exemptions for a number of foreign nationals from numerical limitations in immigrant visa processing.

For more information about the bill and reactions, see:,0,2796042,full.story

Please contact Dan Rock at or 312-870-0033 to discuss your immigration needs.

54 Chicago Public Schools To Close

Fifty-four Chicago Public Schools will be closed.  The city has set a deadline of April 1st for naming which schools will be closed.  Chicago residents have known for months that many schools would be marked for closing.  Some reports indicated that as many as 129 schools would be closed.  Closing 54 schools would be the largest wave of school closings in American history.

Public reaction will be strong and the Chicago teacher's union is expected to fight some of the closings.  The below link contains a map of the 54 school marked for closing.

Chicago Archdiocese to Close Schools Too

The Chicago Archdiocese has sent a letter to its parishes to discuss coming budget cuts.  Among the cost saving measures will be the elimination or consolidation of five of its schools.  The schools that will be closed are not specificed in the letter.   

Francis Cardinal George explains in the letter that these cuts are necessary due to the consequences of the economic downturn in recent years.

CPS Produces List of 129 Schools That Might Be Closed

Yesterday the Chicago Public Schools produced a list of 129 city schools that may be closed.  These schools were drawn from an original list of more than 300 schools that were identified as being under enrolled.  A final list of school to be closed is expected at the end of March.

Media reports have emphasized that the schools on the new list are concentrated on the west and south sides.  Many of them serve the poorest neighborhoods in the city.  Local opposstion to the closings will be intense.,0,6621050.story

Enhanced City of Chicago Web Site

The City of Chicago has created an enhanced version of it's official web site.  The new website ( is designed with a focus on social networking and smart phone applications. 


The "Civic Data Apps" page includes links to smart phone applications that have been created using city wide date.  The apps listed include tools to find such things as available apartments, the location of current farmers markets.  One app allows people to find others who may want to share a cab ride in order to split the cost.  Information on parking restrictions, street sweeping and snow plowing can also be accessed on this page.


In addittion to the existing apps, this page has a menu for developers where city data can be accessed in order to create new smart phone applications.  If the application proves useful, the city will list it on their page.


Features of the site include a directory of all the city related web sites, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and other related accounts.  This directory is arranged by department.

Other Useful Links

We have included a few useful links to external websites to help you find what you are looking for:

Please note that Venis and Copp is not liable for the content of external websites. Following the links above implicitly constitutes acknowledgement and acceptance of this agreement.


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