CPS is closing eight Chicago schools. Usually they blame school closings on poor performance. Not this time.
The reason CPS is closing these small schools is because they’re small schools.
On the Southeast Side, four small schools in what was once Bowen High School will be consolidated again into a comprehensive high school.
CPS says overall the closings will move about 700 students. Some 200 teachers will be affected.
Parents who got wind that their schools might close began protesting almost immediately.
“We beseech you to not cast us out and foreclose on us—to not put us in the street. Because what you’re doing is paramount to making us homeless,” Frieda Dunn told school board members at Wednesday’s regular monthly meeting. Dunn’s daughter is a seventh grader at Cather Elementary. She told board members there are three gangs operating in the blocks between the two schools.
Cather has just 219 students. Dunn says the school would have more if it had room to take them, but Cather is sharing its building with Urban Prep Academy-East Garfield Park. Urban Prep is set to expand next year, but there is no room to do that under the current configuration, school officials said.
It is no surprise that parents and community activists suspect the reason for the closing is to make room for more charters.