CPS closures vote begins: 49 elementary schools to close
The board voted 4-2 to close Von Humboldt Elementary, then voted on the rest of the closings together.
That vote passed unanimosly, so the board all together voted to close 49 elementary schools and one high school program.
Opponents of Chicago Public Schools’ proposal to shut-down 49 schools are voicing their opinions at CPS headquarters on Wednesday.
60 speakers, including Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis, aldermen, and parents, are among those speaking out against the plan. Security had to remove one parent for trying to speak without being on the official list.
Once all of the speakers are done, the Chicago Board of Education is expected to vote on whether to close 49 schools. The number used to be more than 50, but CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett withdrew her recommendations to close Manierre Elementary School, Mahalia Jackson Elementary School, Garvey Elementary School, and Ericson Elementary School. She is also requesting Canter Elementary School be closed through a phased-in approach. She is also not trying to get the Academy for Urban School Leadership to run Barton Elementary School.
Several protesters packed into the lobby and attempted a sit-in, but police officers forced them out.
If the board votes to shut-down all of the schools, that would be the largest mass school closing in U.S. history. Tens of thousands of children will be affected.
CPS says it needs to close underutilized schools to fix a deep deficit. But, opponents say closures will put the safety of students at risk.
WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this report.