School Closings Bill Passes Illinois House

April 3, 2009

Rep. Cynthia Soto

Chicago Public Schools could be forced to change its process for closing or consolidating schools under a bill passed Friday in the Illinois House. School closings in the district have become increasingly controversial.

Representative Cynthia Soto, a Chicago Democrat, sponsored the bill.

SOTO: We need a plan. These schools belong to the communities. They belong to the people who live there who pay the taxes in that community. We need to be a part of that process when it comes to school closings.

The bill would form a committee to come up with guidelines for when schools should be closed, consolidated or repaired. Representatives from Chicago community organizations would have a seat at the table.

The original version of the bill included a moratorium on school closings. That provision was dropped.

Chicago Public Schools had no immediate comment. The bill now goes to the Illinois Senate.