CPS CEO touts Safe Passage program while parents continue to protest closures

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Chicago Public School officials, local leaders and parents held two difference marched in the streets today.

Concerned parents who don’t want their children to walk any farther to school than they do right now marched in protest over school closures.

The other featured CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett who was trying to show they have a plan to get students to school safely.

Byrd-Bennett staged walking interviews with reporters outside of Fenger High School to talk about the expansion of the Safe Passage Program, which would be nearly doubled in size and budget when CPS closes more than 50 schools in the fall.  While CPS says the closures would save about $43 million dollars a year in operating expenses, it plans to spend nearly $8 million more to expand the program that places paid community watchers along major routes to and from CPS schools.

“I’ve been visiting a number of our welcoming schools to ensure that what we think is happening is happening,” Byrd-Bennett said.  “That we are vetting our thinking around safe passage that we are able to have a plan vetted with the police department who can advise us about empty lots and vacant buildings so we can ensure that our children walking to our schools will be safe.”

Meanwhile, a group of parents who are against the school closings all together staged their own walk saying their concerned about their students walking to a new school which, likely is farther than the one the currently attend.

“I have an 11-year-old boy and an 8-year-old boy and I don’t want my boys to walk through violent blocks,” said parent Lakecha Green.  “I don’t want them to walk through gangs.”

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  • kirby1414

    If these parents are so concerned about the gangs – – why don't they tell what they know to the police and partner with them to get the gangs arrested and taken off the blocks that they are so afraid of? We all know that the people that live in these areas and claim to be so terrified for themselves and their kids – know exactly WHO and WHERE these cowardly killers live. Step up to the plate – help the police and stop crying and marching!

  • Real funny

    What Is tragic is that instead of being part of the salutation the three of you just rather be apart of the problem it’s not about what the parents do or don’t do it’s about the kids that have to risk their lives just to get a education chicago has a corrupt mayor that is playing monopoly with people’s lives but I guess that just fine with you as long as you can be so called opinionated behind closed doors tragic!

  • United Front

    These protesters seem to have a lot of time on their hands don't they. Maybe they should turn off ObamaNews, get off the couch or push the table away and walk the streets when the kids are walking to school and again when the kids are walking home. Keep their Obamaphone, they all seem to have them now-a-days, at the ready and call suspicious activities or dangerous conditions. This way the police know exactly where the gangbanging is, the dope dealing is, the hooking is and their precious little welfare ticket gets to and from that school thing safely and they can still collect that very important government check. Maybe offer a reward for an arrest/conviction too.

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