Chicago Announces Plan to Close 11% of Elementary Schools Before the 2013-2014 Academic Year

by Colonel on March 21, 2013

“Chicago will close 54 schools and 61 school buildings by the beginning of the next academic year in the country’s third-largest public school district. …

The district will shutter 53 elementary schools and one high school by August, primarily in Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods. The district, which has a $1 billion annual deficit, has said it needs to close underutilized schools to save money.

Enrollment in Chicago Public Schools has fallen 20 percent in the last decade, mainly because of population declines in poor neighborhoods. …

The controversial decision to close dozens of schools follows a bitter strike by Chicago teachers last September, fought partly over the Chicago Teachers Union’s accusation that Mayor Rahm Emanuel was undermining community schools in poor areas of the city.

The school board must approve the closings and will vote on the matter May 22.

” — James B. Kelleher and Mary Wisniewski, Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters

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