Chicago Board of Ed to vote on 53 school closings

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chicago Board of Ed to vote on 53 school closings

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Board of Education is expected to take a final vote on whether to close 53 schools.

The ambitious proposal that sparked protests and lawsuits could help define — for better or worse — Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s term in office.

City officials say the closings are necessary because of falling school enrollment and as part of their efforts to improve the city’s struggling education system. But critics have blasted Emanuel and schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, saying the closings disproportionately affect minority neighborhoods and will endanger children who may have to cross gang boundaries to get to a new school.

Protests were planned outside the board’s meeting today. They were sending busloads of teachers, parents and students to Springfield to lobby lawmakers to approve a moratorium on the closings.