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State lawmakers, school leaders in talks about delay in school closings news

The head of Chicago Public Schools wants more time to figure out which schools to close next year.

But first she has to get state lawmakers to agree to the extra time.

State Rep. Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago) says she has not yet agreed to extend the December 1 deadline for announcing school closings.

But she and others have started to talk with CPS leaders.

“We really have not gone further than that, but to agree to work together to come up with an agreed bill,” Soto said.

Two years ago, Soto helped create a task force made up of lawmakers, parents and community leaders to push for more transparency around school closings.

That group came up with the current timeline for how CPS should announce closings.

CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett met with members of that task force Thursday, but Soto said they will continue meeting this month to see if they can agree on a bill.

If school officials and lawmakers can come up with a bill, Soto said she could introduce it during the veto session starting November 27. 

Byrd-Bennett has said she wants a later deadline to have more time to make sure community voices are heard when it comes to changes with their schools.

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