Students protest outside school board HQ, march letter to mayor - New York News

Students protest outside school board HQ, march letter to Emanuel

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago Public Schools closure list is out, but the fight is far from over. A rally and march outside Board of Education headquarters are planned for Monday.

CPS students, teachers and staff are on spring break this week, but that will not stop the public pressure against the district's plan for closing 54 schools.

A group called "Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools" will protest at 125 South Clark Street around 11:30 a.m. Monday. They will begin there, then march to City Hall to deliver a letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel in person at noon. 

Their aim? To stop the consolidation plan, CPS' attempt to close the district's $1 billion budget deficit.

They say CPS students need smaller class sizes, not larger ones, which they expect will come of closing over 50 locations and combining schools in under-utilized buildings.

Schools Chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett said, "As a former teacher and principal and as a mother and grandmother, CEO Byrd-Bennett knows that consolidating schools can be emotional and difficult, but by doing so we will be able to provide students with a quality, 21st-century education they deserve."

She also said the consolidation would make it possible to move children to higher-performing schools that have the resources the community would want all thier kids to have access to - to help them achieve and succeed. Those redirected resources include air conditioning, up-to-date science and computer technology, libraries, counseling and social support.

Byrd-Bennett released the list of closures last week, ahead of the March 31 state-mandated deadline.

The closings affect 30,000 CPS students and parents.

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