The Chicago board of education has approved guidelines for opening new schools under the mayor’s Renaissance 2010 plan, which calls for creating 100 new schools in the city in the next six years. (See “Chicago to ‘Start Over’ With 100 Small Schools,” July 14, 2004.)
The policy, approved on Sept. 22, spells out three types of schools that will open in the 434,000-student district: charter schools; contract schools run by independent organizations; and “performance schools,” which will be run by the district under five-year plans that set out performance goals.
Compared with traditional city schools, the schools will have greater autonomy over their budgets, the length of the school day, curriculum, and staffing.
Contract and performance schools will be able to choose whether to have an elected local school council. Charter schools will be exempt from having the councils, which were set up in traditional schools by a provision of the 1988 state legislation that overhauled Chicago’s schools.
The policy also states that children whose schools are closed will be guaranteed slots in the new schools that open in their community.