School leaders plan to close a number of public schools next year, but they’re also planning to open new schools.
Chicago Public Schools put out a list of six new schools they’re recommending for approval, as well as two schools that will be expanded to serve more grades.
Four are new charter schools: Chicago Collegiate, Foundations College Prep, The Orange School and Intrinsic Schools. One is a new high school expanding out of Disney II, a popular magnet school on the city's North West side, and another, Camelot, will serve alternative students.
The board also is recommending that Marine Military Academy and Rickover Naval Academy expand to serve students in seventh and eighth grades. Parents in Logan Square have been raising concerns about their neighborhood middle school, Ames, being taken over by Marine Military Academy, but no location is listed for Marine’s expansion yet.
School officials have said they’re facing a billion dollar deficit and need to close school buildings in order to “right-size” the country's third largest school district and save some money, though the actual cost savings is unknown.
A CPS spokeswoman has estimated each closed school could save the district between $500,000 and $800,000, but no breakdown of that calculation has been provided.
No one knows exactly how many schools will be closed, but enrollment will be the driving factor in decision making. CPS has said 136 of its schools are more than half empty.
There are also nine schools slated to open next fall that were approved by the board last year.