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Chicago Public Schools announce more closings

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Chicago Public Schools (CPS) can’t seem to win. After announcing their plan to close down four Englewood-area high schools, CPS is facing major backlash – from their own teachers. 

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has filed a grievance over the weekend with CPS because these alleged school closings are in direct violation of a contract expiring in the year 2019. This contract states that no Chicago public school can be shut down unless it is incapable of satisfying graduation requirements for students. 

These Englewood high schools are more than capable of satisfying graduation requirements, according to CTU Vice President, Jesse Sharkey. CPS says differently. 

The buildings themselves are deteriorating, some of the staff are not certified teachers, and the principals aren’t finding themselves able to make any necessary changes, according to CPS CEO, Janice Jackson.

Chicago has been dealing with this issue for years, and it seems the only solution they can seem to find is to shut down more schools and put their money elsewhere. However, CTU urges CPS to stop taking money away from these schools, and start putting more money into them – regardless of their attendance rate. 

Right now, CPS delegates its money based solely on enrollment. With Janice Jackson in charge, the CTU is hoping for a change. They are learning, however, that this much-needed change is not likely. 

Millions of dollars are currently going into the expansion of a South Loop elementary school, aiming to create a new high school to serve low-income students in surrounding neighborhoods. But what does that say for the residents of places like Englewood? Where are they supposed to continue their education, if their schools are being shut down in order to afford higher-income neighborhoods like the South Loop a bigger, better high school? 

CPS definitely has their hands full with this one, and CTU is set on their way to make sure some necessary changes are made. 

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Nina is a Chicago-based woman and writer.

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