129 CPS schools may be closed in Chicago - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

129 CPS schools may be closed in Chicago

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CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

Chicago Public School officials have trimmed their list of schools that are under consideration for closure down to 129. There's still more trimming to be done and still some very unhappy parents.

List: Chicago Public Schools under consideration for closure

The Board of Education says something has to happen because it's facing a big budget shortfall. Cuts have to be made and the 129 school on the list released Wednesday evening include more than a dozen schools on the West Side.

An outspoken critic of the Chicago Public Schools, Alderman Bob Fioretti, was preaching to the converted at a tense school meeting. The crowd included parents concerned about the fate of their children's schools, and activists from the Chicago Teachers Union defending their jobs. There was virtually no explanation about the forces driving the Board of Education to shrink the system, including the billion dollar projected budget shortfall and the fact that a system with 511,000 seats has only 403,000 students.

Alderman Michael Chandler says he thinks it's a good thing the schools have fewer kids.

"I think we should be bold enough to find the resources that are necessary," Chandler says."

"I think we need more time to vet this whole issue," says Alderman Scott Waguespack. "I don't think we should run in and start closing schools. Over time perhaps we could do that, but this has been such a rush job, I don't think it matches up to what people really see out there. "

The leader of the Chicago Public Schools, Barbara Byrd Bennett, told FOX 32 News that there are two key principals that she's going to observe. One is that any transfers of students will proceed smoothly and safely, and that all students who move to a new school will move to a higher and better performing school than the one that is being closed.

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