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Thu Mar 21, 2013, 08:07 PM

Chicago announces mass closing of elementary schools


By James B. Kelleher and Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO | Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:28pm EDT

(Reuters) - 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, a move that union leaders called the largest mass closing in the nation.

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 district said it can accommodate 511,000 students, but only about 403,000 are enrolled. It said that nearly 140 of its schools are more than half empty.

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.

The 61 closings account for about 10 percent of elementary school facilities, according to the school district.


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Reply Chicago announces mass closing of elementary schools (Original post)
SoCalDem Mar 2013 OP
liberal_at_heart Mar 2013 #1
SoCalDem Mar 2013 #2

Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 08:14 PM

1. you would think that a decrease in enrollment could mean the possibility of smaller classrooms but

because funding is directly tied to enrollment if the enrollment decreases so does funding. If you can cram 30 students in every classroom you get funding. Still not enough funding to do what you need to do but certainly more funding than those schools who can't attract 30 kids per classroom. There is something fundamentally wrong with our public school system and we need to save it.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 09:50 PM

2. Poor kids are expendable

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