Chicago to Close 53 Elementary Schools
Teachers' union fumes over deficit-fighting move
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 22, 2013 7:01 AM CDT
A young boy waits to enter the Lafayette Elementary School in Chicago on Thursday, March 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(Newser) – Chicago yesterday released a long-awaited school closings list, which named the 61 buildings it plans to shutter. The Tribune breaks down the "confusing" math behind the closure announcement, and reports that the plan will spell the end for 53 elementary schools; 13% of elementary and middle schools in the third-biggest US school district will be affected. It comes as part of an effort to address a $1 billion budget deficit, and will touch 30,000 students. "I know that this will not be easy, but I also know that in the end this will benefit our children," says Chicago Public Schools' CEO, per CNN.

She and mayor Rahm Emanuel say the closures are needed because too many buildings sit half-empty, with 403,000 students in a system with seats for more than 511,000. CPS says it will save $560 million via the plan over a decade. But the Chicago Teachers Union is speaking out against it. "Today, a vacationing Mayor Rahm Emanuel is sending our school district into utter chaos," it said in a statement issued yesterday. (Rahm was on a family ski trip in Utah.) "These actions will not only put our students' safety and academic careers at risk but also further destabilize our neighborhoods," added its president.

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Mar 22, 2013 4:00 PM CDT
Oh My...the knee grows are NOT going to be happy !
Mar 22, 2013 2:30 PM CDT
With less than 80% usage, he wants to cut the floor space to 87%. Good cut the other 7% and fooook the unions.
Mar 22, 2013 1:21 PM CDT
About time like the end product that walks out of these school in Chicago will be any better. The tub of lard that is head of the mafia of a teachers union there is a real disgrace. It's amazing before these corrupt teachers unions where in place people got an education and a good one now they dumb down the courses so kids who are functionally illiterate make though and they are doing them no favors. My wife did some teaching in Community College she was told to pass these hispanic kids who could not write a complete sentence because their numbers would look bad if she didn't. She quit teaching all together.