Chicago leaders have closed or shaken up more than 200 schools and opened nearly as many new ones in the last two decades, a new WBEZ analysis finds. That includes far more closures than all the public schools in Boston.
The decisions came under two mayors — Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel. In 2019, voters will pick a new mayor. Candidates are already weighing in on school closings and the ongoing enrollment declines at Chicago Public Schools.
WBEZ sent a three-question survey on school closings to all mayoral candidates who had declared by Nov. 20. Candidates were to answer each question yes or no, and could then elaborate. Nine answered with a firm yes or no.
The majority of those nine candidates oppose closing chronically low-performing schools and also oppose closings schools that are more than 50 percent under-enrolled. That group includes Toni Preckwinkle and Amara Enyia — candidates with schools experiences.
Just one candidate, Gery Chico, supports closures under those circumstances. In addition, Chico, former president of the Chicago Board of Education, and four other candidates said they would support opening new schools in years when overall enrollment is declining.
Candidate responses are below.
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