CHICAGO – The state of Illinois is giving Chicago Public Schools $10 million to expand a program that provides safe routes to classes for thousands of students.
Gov. Pat Quinn's office announced the funding Thursday from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Chicago Public Schools' Safe Passage program started in 2009 after concerns were raised about the safety of students traveling to and from school on the city's South and West sides.
Five years later the program serves about 65,000 students. The new money will increase routes to the 93 schools already in the program and add 27 new schools.
Safe Passage puts trained employees along the designated routes to monitor safety and call police if there are possible threats.
The state money will mean about 600 new employees.