Last day to weigh in on ISBE proposal to lift class size caps

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. 

What can you do?

Email Shelley Helton at ISBE: rules@isbe.net

CPS to borrow $329 million to help pay for school closings

CPS to issue $329 million in bonds to help pay for upgrades at receiving schools

This will increase debt servicing payments by $25 million for the next 30 years.

http://www.wbez.org/news/education/cps-will-go-further-debt-pay-upgrades-receiving-schools-106627

http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/2013/04/11/20977/record-paying-school-actions

The Efficiency of School Closures: Are Super-sized Classrooms More Effective?

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.

54 School Closings Means Overcrowding for all of Us

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. 

Link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drj4aE8tXko

CPS wants to close 54 schools and shutter 61 buildings

CPS has never closed more than 13 schools in one year and the district has a master facilities plan that is due in October yet they are proposing this move without any research or evidence to back it.

Here’s the list:

http://www.suntimes.com/19008230-761/cps-to-close-54-school-programs-61-school-buildings.html

Interactive map from Sun-Times:

Raise Your Hand calls on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to ensure a transparent and open process for Board of Education appointment

The resignation of Penny Pritzker from the Chicago Board of Education creates a vacancy that will be filled through an appointment by Mayor Emanuel. Previous Emanuel appointments to the Board of Education have been made with no public discussion. In fact, the last resignation by a member was actually announced by the mayor at the same time that his replacement was named, with no opportunity for outside input.

The Tribune looks in-depth at space utilization at CPS

and CPS' Becky Carroll says that "big classes don't necessarily hamper learning. It's the quality of teaching in that classroom," Carroll said. "You could have a teacher that is high-quality that could take 40 kids in a class and help them succeed."

School closing critics question CPS' 'ideal' class size of 30 students

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-cps-school-closing-c...

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