Parents protest school closing plans

Protesters have one month before final vote.

April 1, 2011

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(WBEZ/Linda Lutton)
Students and parents protest proposed school closings outside CPS headquarters.

Dozens of parents and students picketed outside Chicago Public Schools headquarters Friday morning. 

It’s become an annual ritual: the district announces a slate of schools to be closed down, either for poor performance or low enrollment. Then parents and students get out placards and megaphones and begin the fight to save their schools.

Tilton Elementary was yanked from the closings list last year after parents and the alderman protested. This year it’s back on the list, along with eight additional schools.

CPS says a new charter high school is expanding and needs Tilton's building. Grandmother and local school council member Erma Moses says Tilton is the cornerstone of her West Side neighborhood.  

"We’ve been existing for 100 years, so we want to stay on the map. The kids don’t want to go. All the kids around in the neighborhood want to stay in their school." 

Interim CEO Terry Mazany has called the consolidations “imperative," but a state legislative task force says it has “grave concerns” about the plan.

The district begins hearings into the school closings on Monday. The Board of Education will vote on them at the end of April.