Education task force slams Chicago Public Schools

December 2, 2011

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(WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)
The task force took shared their thoughts on CPS actions and took comments from concerned parents and community advocates.

The Chicago Education Facilities Task Force is slamming a Chicago Public Schools plan to close and turnaround some struggling schools. The task force exists to gather feedback from all stake-holders in school facility related decisions. It's a bi-partisan committee made up of politicians, CPS officials and community advocates.

They called a public hearing Thursday following an announcement that 17 schools are slated to be closed, phased out or turned around.

Ill. State Sen. Iris Martinez is on the task force and said CPS didn't use the committee's input in picking which schools to close and overhaul.

"This task force has to be respected! We want transparency - talk to us! Tell us exactly how did you come to this? That's all we're asking," Martinez said.

Chicago Public Schools officials at the meeting said the district did receive the committee's recommendations, but their plan did not change.

State Representative Cynthia Soto said that by law CPS has to use a clear system-wide criteria and community input. Soto said the committee will be discussing whether or not to take legal action.