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Springfield unlikely to stop Chicago school closings as teachers had hoped

Some members of the Chicago Teachers Union were hoping state lawmakers would slow down the process of closing dozens of Chicago schools.
Illinois State Sen. William Delgado introduced a bill that would put a one-year moratorium on closing any Chicago schools.

He’s a Democrat who represents parts of the city’s Northwest Side and chairs the Education Committee in the State Senate. A few weeks ago, he got a hearing for his bill addressing the school closings. But the only way he could get the needed support for his bill was to use a parliamentary move essentially removing all the language, what’s called a shell bill. Then, down the road, new language could be added.

Since that hearing, Delgado hasn’t heard anything from other lawmakers.

“This is the hottest button issue in the City of Chicago. I was very disappointed that other legislators that have communities being directly impacted were not running me over to get on that bill,” Delgado said Thursday.

Meantime, another bill addressing the school closings introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives has yet to be called for a hearing.

Delgado said with a week left before legislators adjourn for the summer, he doesn’t see Springfield being a factor in slowing down the school closings.

Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him @tonyjarnold.

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