CPS CEO, mayor defend school closures amidst protest

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Chicago Public School teachers, students and parents are filling the the Loop this afternoon in the name of saving education.

The crowd will march from Daley Plaza to City Hall and then CPS headquarters. The Board of Education has metal barricades around the building in anticipation of the protest.

Traffic and travel times will be affected. For the latest travel times, go to http://wgntv.com/traffic.

The demonstrators have hopes of being heard and making a difference to stop the closures of some CPS school

School execs, aldermen and the mayor are also  keeping the issue top of mind.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett made an appeal to parents to work with her during the consolidation of 54 schools on the south and west sides so safety is not the concern for so many children finding their way in a new school next fall.

“I want them to understand safety of our children is first.  I will do nothing to compromise it even over quality education,” she said.

As voices are expected to fill the Loop tonight, people like Alderman Bob Fioretti claim they are doing what they can to reverse the irreversible. Fioretti is losing six schools in his district by the end of the school year. He calls it the “meat cleaver” approach.

Earlier today, Mayor Emanuel discussed the closing of underutilized schools and how public school kids are the one that lose if changes aren’t made.  He’s making sure change happens on his watch.

“Locking kids into a system that is failing their full potential is unacceptable for this  his city,” he said.

More public hearings are scheduled for April and May.

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  • rich

    Someone need to tell the mayor that he is no longer the chief of staff for the white house, This is Chicago and we are people, not politicians we will not be bullied. The mayor shall not be elected for another term and any alderman and official that sided with this dictator should meet the same fate. Please people of Chicago wake the hell up and vote for someone that Cares about u and our city

    • pwayne

      No….he is in charge of this city and the schools must be closed unless you have extra money in your savings account to pay for underutilized schools and a number o teachers who should be fired along with Karen the mouth Lewis…..she has to go….she needs to control her tongue.

  • pwayne

    Just an observation and comment….from the overhead camera there are no more than 3000 in attendance at this rally. News Flash People…..there are nearly three million people in the City. You do the math….this is not much of a rally when you consider that. I support the Mayor in the closure of the schools…Mayor Daley should have taken care of this ten years ago……he left a mess for the current Mayor. We , the tax payers cannot afford to keep underutilized schools open….it doesn't make sense. Get over it…..these schools are closing unless one of you parents can get out their checkbook and pay for the upkeep.

  • Fed up

    Why should tax dollars keep going into a school where the students have no intention of learning, and the parents don't care enough to make sure their children are going to school and doing their homework. I mean, it's always funny to watch the trashy parents complaining on the news that it's racist, and how they're being wronged, but that's more for my amusement. If the kids don't want to learn, and the parents don't want to take responsibility, shit them down.

  • guest

    The teachers held the kids for ransome when they went on strike last year. Demanding large pay increases when there is no money, when the state is still reeling from recession and unemployment. They got what they wanted and again kids are the victims. I support the mayor. Expenses need to be cut unfortunately so teachers could have a fat raise in a recession.