Downtown Protests Over School Closures

January 29, 2009

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CPS has proposed closing or consolidating 16 schools. Another 6 will be completely re-staffed.
A new coalition is vowing to fight school closings proposed by Chicago Public Schools. Yesterday several hundred teachers, parents and students took their protest to the Loop.

Patricia Orozco says her son has made real strides in the special education program at Carpenter Elementary. Now the school is being phased out.

OROZCO: “Say, ‘They're gonna close my school.'

SON: I don't want the school to close. I want that school to stay open.

OROZCO: He's hard of hearing. Before he wasn't talking. Now he is. So you know? I'm gonna keep fighting.

CPS says Carpenter and 15 other schools are under-enrolled and must close or consolidate to save the district money.

But protesters counter that the district is opening NEW schools under its Renaissance 2010 initiative. Not all children are accepted to the Renaissance schools, many of which are run by outside firms.

As marchers snaked through downtown, the Chicago Board of Education confirmed Ron Huberman as new CEO of the Chicago Public Schools.