Education

Judge: Chicago School Closings Can Proceed

By Jaclyn Zubrzycki — August 01, 2013 2 min read

A judge in Cook County, Ill., has denied a motion to stop 10 of the district’s 49 planned school closings this year, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Chicago Teachers Union had filed a suit against the district, claiming that it did not follow its own guidelines for choosing which schools to close. That suit was just the latest measure the union and other activists have taken to try to stop the planned closings, which they have also claimed will disproportionately affect African-American students and neighborhoods.

“The district wrote the rules regarding the power given to the hearing officers, and when the officers’ decisions weren’t to their liking, CPS broke its own rules in overturning those decisions and voting to close 50 schools,” said Karen Lewis, the president of the teachers’ union, in a statement. “Today’s ruling is unfortunate because it allows for the radical experiment that is being conducted on a great number of Chicago’s children by the mayor’s office and the board of education to continue.”

Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the district’s CEO, said in a statement, “Today’s ruling affirmed our belief that every child in every neighborhood in Chicago deserves access to a high-quality education that prepares them to succeed in life. However, for too long that has not been the case and children in certain parts of the city have been without the resources and support that they need to succeed in the classroom.”

The district said in June that the closings would not necessarily reduce the district’s deficit, but that they would help the district distribute its resources more intentionally.

The district is planning to provide a “safe passage” program for students who are worried about traveling to new schools. Families and students are concerned that the closings will exacerbate violence, as students from different neighborhoods begin attending school together for the first time and some students have to travel farther to get to their new schools. More than 11,000 families have requested assistance from the “safe passage” program so far.

Meanwhile, the Tribune is also reporting that the cuts to budgets for regular public schools in the district are greater than had been reported, while charter schools in the city are receiving more money this year.

Liana Heitin wrote about some of the challenges facing Chicago’s teachers and former teachers—the district announced a second round of layoffs in July.

Chicago’s not the only district bracing for school closings and big budget cuts as the new school year approaches: Philadelphia is shutting down more than 24 schools, and many of the reconfigured schools will be operating with brand new principals and bare-bones staff.

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Data Analyst
New York, NY, US
New Visions for Public Schools
Project Manager
United States
K12 Inc.
High School Permanent Substitute Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
MS STEM Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read