Maybe they thought nobody would notice with all the attention being given to Rahm’s firing of Superintendent Garry McCarthy.
The two schools scheduled for closing have already been emptied of students: Moses Montefiore Special Elementary School and Marine Military Math and Science Academy’s campus on the south side.
Consolidations will take place at schools housed in the old Austin High School.
CPS wants to co-locate John Spry Community High School into the same old Harrison High School building that is currently home to Saucedo Academy and Telpochcalli. Telpochcalli is a unique dual language school with a national reputation. For Saucedo, the consolidation would mean closing the library, soaring class sizes “and other horrible things for students,” according to Saucedo teachers I have spoken with.
Xian Franzinger Barrett, a CPS teacher and community member: “I think this is a direct attack on three strong neighborhood schools in proud Latino community by a mayor and leadership team that is disturbingly unwelcoming to Latino leadership.”
“Can you all please have your blog readers contact Alderman Cardenas (@aldcardenas) on Twitter and demand that he tell the CPS Board of Education to stop the co-location of Spry moving into Saucedo and Telpochcalli because it hurts our students?” asked a teacher.
CPS is saying that the co-location of Spry, Saucedo and Telpochcalli is for cost savings.
What is the cost savings provided by the co-location of Spry with Saucedo and Telpochcalli? Spry is currently housed in a Chicago Boys and Girls Club, with CPS paying rent for the use of the building.
According to a Spry teacher, “CPS is stating that the co-location is to save rent money, so Spry doesn’t have to rent out the boys and girls club. The principal stated that the boys and girls club costs $90,000.”
They could cut one network position to save the same amount of money.
Here is the latest lease I could find. In 2011, CPS was paying $65,000 in rent.
Zerlina Smith, former Saucedo LSC parent representative and current Saucedo parent said, “This co-location is a safety risk when you bring in teenagers with pre-teens and pre-schoolers. High school students shouldn’t be interacting with elementary students at school. There is too much that can happen with not enough room. This could cause parents to leave the schools. They should take the money from the expensive downtown and network spaces. They can find the money.”
A special education teacher at Saucedo Academy told me, “CPS is going to force a co-location on a community that does not want it. They are only saving $90,000 in rent to cause chaos and instability for our students. They could cut one network position who works in a CPS area office, and who has no student interaction, and save over $100,000. CPS could take a sliver of the $200 million in toxic swaps swaps CPS has with Bank of America. Once again, CPS is choosing banks over our students. CPS board of education, CEO Forrest Claypool and Rahm Emanuel, need to prepare for a fight because they don’t know who they are messing with. #ThisisWAR!”
LSC teacher representative for Saucedo, Martha Arriaga: “Are they really being fair to our kids? They will be taking our kindergarten classrooms and I’m a kindergarten teacher. Saucedo is a safe environment in our school, and now we won’t have control. Having high schoolers in here with our kindergarteners won’t be safe for them. We worked hard for our reputation and CPS is trying to hurt our reputation and our students. We are also a literacy a school, yet they are taking our library away from us?! CPS is also doing this so parents want to leave the public schools, so they can open more charters. CPS wants to cause chaos.”