The City of Chicago’s Board of Education began its hearing this morning on the proposed closing of over 50 CPS schools—a decision that has been met with outrage and protests from the community. The schools under consideration for closing are primarily in African American and Hispanic neighborhoods. Parents and teachers agree that these closings will not only disrupt communities, but will also compromise the safety of students who will be forced to travel further through troubled areas to new schools. Many teachers also face the prospect of losing their jobs with the closings. CPS stands by its proposal and explains that the named schools are underutilized and therefore must be closed in order to help the district reduce its $1 billion budget deficit. Displaced students will be sent to schools boasting higher performance records and newer amenities like air conditioning and libraries. However, many teachers take issue with this label of “underutilized” and express their comprehensive use of their school’s classrooms and facilities. If the plan is approved, it will be the largest school closing in the country.
Local news sources have been following today’s proceedings. Follow the links below to access more information on the story and to stay up-to-date with the latest news.