Counting Down To Consolidation

I still haven't gotten anyone to send me the list of 147 underutilized schools that was presented at last month's board meeting as part of the whole "close 50 schools thing" - even though it's got to be somewhere in that board report, right?

In the meantime, however, I have the above map of where the schools are, and how they're rated by the demography folks at CPS. Darker = extremely underutilized, and lighter means 50 percent. That's roughly a third of the elementaries in the city.

I've also spoken with a couple of CPS folks about the looming closings, which are going to get an elaborate rollout next week. Right now, the schools' political patrons are getting word about what is going to happen, with an emphasis on all the things that kids don't get in smaller schools -- FT arts and music, sports teams, etc.

But it's not all about the capacity percentages, of course. Building condition, academic performance, and alternate uses for the sites are all part of it. And not everyone is getting consolidated -- some schools are going to be relocated, some turned around (a la Sherman and Harvard), some are going to be phased out over time. As we've heard before, a variety of folks will probably be "given" the turnaround schools to run, not just AUSL.

This is either a very nuanced and sophisticated system, or just a cloud of dust intended to confuse everyone long enough to get it passed by the Board two weeks later (during which there will be lots of scheduled hearings).

Filed under: 125 S. Clark Street

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