CPS CEO discusses school closures

The head of Chicago Public Schools Barbara Byrd-Bennett sat down with WGN’s Randi Belisomo as a deadline to announce school closings approaches.

That announcement must be made by the end of the month.

Byrd-Bennett she knows the decisions will hurt, but they’re for the benefit of all.

In the meantime, the Chicago Teachers Union organized a trip to Springfield today in support of a bill that would place a two year moratorium on closings. Parents protested at CPS headquarters. They say Special Ed students would be hurt the most.

The CTU maintains parent involvement will be tough if kids are transferred from their neighborhoods.

CPS aims to keep students within a .8 mile radius of where they are now. If that doesn’t work, Byrd-Bennett and the Chicago Police Dept promise safe passage.

Crossing gang turf and overall safety though remain troubling.

Of the schools under consideration, 117 have a majority Black student body and many black families say that’s not fair.

But Byrd-Bennett says many of the primarily Black neighborhoods are the ones with declining enrollment. This, she says, isn’t racial at all.

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