CPS votes to open 7 more charter schools

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The Chicago Board of Education is moving forward Wednesday with seven new privately-run charter schools.

The board followed a recommendation made earlier in the day from Chicago Public Schools staff to move ahead with seven of the 17 new charter schools proposed for the coming school year.

The board approved proposals from the following charter operators:

•    Concept Schools: two schools at 5401 S. Western Avenue and 8522 S. Lafayette Ave.;

•    Intrinsic Schools: one school at 4540 W. Belmont Ave. in first year before moving to another unspecified Northwest Side location;

•    Noble: two schools, at 5321 W. Grand Ave. and 17 S. State Street;

•    Chicago Education Partnership: one school, with grades K-6 at 400 N. Leamington Ave., grades 7-8 at 415 N. Laramie Ave.;

•    Great Lakes Academy: one school, location to be determined.

But, not everyone is happy with the board’s decision.

For three hours, the board heard public comments. Sixty people signed up to voice their support or concerns.

The majority of this year’s 22 proposals were either denied or withdrawn. Neighborhood advisory councils devoted more than 60 hours to vetting the proposals.  There were two public hearings before this one.

Still, board members acknowledged that this was going to be a tough vote.

Last year, the same board voted to close 50 neighborhood schools because of underenrollment.  The district cut $168 million from the remaining school’s budgets.

Now, opponents are wondering where the money will come from for these new charter schools.

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

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