Photo: CPS Massive School Closings
Chicago will play host to the largest mass closing of public schools in the nation announcing that 54 schools will shutter resulting in 61 school facilities closing. The school closings represent 13 percent of all Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the largest closing of its kind in the city’s history.
The closing affects some 30,000 students mostly in elementary and middle schools. 52 elementary schools will close this year while 11 will see consolidations. The remainder of the schools will close within the next two years.
The closings, mostly in minority communities, appear to be a result of budget shortfalls and declining enrollment. CPS officials face a $1 billion budget shortfall this September. According to the Chicago Tribune the closing will produce $560 million in savings for CPS over the next ten years.
Some Chicago education leaders and elected officials suggest the closing unfairly target Latino and African-American neighborhoods. Many parents fear their relocated children will have to travel longer distances through dangerous neighborhoods and face overcrowding situations.
Eight aldermen working as the City Council’s Progressive Reform Coalition want an immediate stop to the schools closing plan that needs final approval by the Board of Education.
CPS Chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett faced the wrath of many alone when making the announcement since Mayor Rahm Emanuel is traveling with his family for Spring Break to Utah.
Click here to see the list of all schools closing and where students will be relocated.