Attached is a letter that went to all Prinicpals yesterday (5/17/13) about the enrollment process for school closings. In it CEO Byrd-Bennett tells Principals that any district school "with space" must take students who want to enroll from closing schools.
"CEO Byrd-Bennett has stated that students from sending schools and welcoming schools that are relocating can attend any school in the district that has capacity. Capacity is based on the grade level analysis we worked on with principals."
The Chicago Public Schools Space Utilization formula allows for 36 kids in a room as an "efficient" use of space. You can have 36 kids in every homeroom in CPS and not be considered overcrowded. Many of CPS' plans for closings will lead to overcrowding next year. We want CPS to revise their space utilization policy. Please sign and share this petition.
Today we delivered a report to the Board of Education listing our concerns for 40 proposed school actions. As we stated to the Board, the omission of certain schools on this list does not mean we support their closure but as a grassroots group these were the schools we were able to visit, attend hearings for, meet with parents at, or research. We did walkthroughs at 22 schools on the closing list and attended numerous community hearings over the past few months.
Today is the last day to offer public comment to the Illinois Statre Board of Education about their proposal to lift class size limits on special education class rooms. This proposed change would impact both children in special education and general education classrooms.
Raise Your Hand, founded by parents who mobilized in response to warnings in 2010 that class sizes might be increased to resolve budget deficits, finds itself again revisiting the classroom size problem in Chicago as CPS lists 54 schools for closure by the end of this year. These school closures reflect the CPS goal to fill classrooms with 30 students, as has been pointed out in the recent Tribune article. The new CPS utilization formula allows for as many 36 students in classrooms.
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.