After months of saying we have a space utilization crisis the narrative has shifted and the city now says the closings are all about school performance and their need to save kids who are trapped in "failing schools."
Here's one example of a school the city considers failing that is going to be shuttered, Lafayette Elementary.
The Sun-Times reported that 1/3 of the schools will not be going to better performing schools (based on test scores).
Overcrowded Class Sizes
Mass closings will lead to overcrowding and bigger class sizes. The numbers don’t work. Some receiving schools have told us they have no idea how 300-400 kids will fit in their building without class size going up to 40 or higher. Is this how we create better education for Chicago’s children? Also the loss of 54 schools in Chicago means less “seats” for all of us. 16 special ed cluster programs are on the list. When people in those attendance boundaries who have kids not yet in school enter school, the rest of us will be absorbing them.
We already debunked the 100k empty seat myth. Apples to Apples determined there are 25k empty seats based on a max class size of 30 and not taking high special education, ELL, or community schools into account. So we have far less than 25k. This is a short-sighted plan, not unlike the parking meter deal, that’s going to lead to overcrowding and more of a strain on the taxpayer when we have to open new schools. Are we trying to build a city that attracts and retains families or sends them packing?
What the city is also not telling us is that kids at schools like Garvey and Manierre and Earle and many more will be going to schools where they’ll have to sit in class with new gang factions. Is being afraid for your life conducive to a child’s learning? Safe passage is one issue in consolidations, being in a classroom with rival gang members is another issue. The mayor says he will ensure the safety of every child yet safety plans have not worked thus far in Chicago. He is now closing an historical number of schools in the city with the most gang members in America. Why aren’t we addressing the underlying issues here?
CPS is closing 16 special ed cluster programs and will attempt to transition 2400 kids with IEPs next year. Emails us if you have a kid at one of these email@example.com.
The Trib says it's time to "Unchain the charters."
If you're a believer in strong neighborhoods schools for all children and communities, it's a bad time to be in Chicago. This was never about a space utilization crisis, it's about an ideology held by a select few making all the decisions in a vacuum about what's right for your kids.
Email us if you're a parent with a child on the closing list - firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep calling your elected officals and communicating how you feel about mass closings. They need to hear from you.