CTU's 3-Day March Against School Closures Ends Monday

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    The Chicago Board of Education is expected to vote Wednesday on the planned closure of more than 50 schools. Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Monday, May 20, 2013)

    Chicago teachers, parents and students are hitting the streets for a third and final day of citywide marches in protest of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal to close dozens of schools.

    Monday's activities will also include a downtown rally and delivering petitions calling for a moratorium on the closures to City Hall.

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    Hundreds have been crisscrossing city neighborhoods since Saturday morning. They oppose the plan to shut down 54 underutilized schools and the idea is to call attention to different city neighborhoods.

    More than 100 people were seen Saturday marching from school to school, carrying signs that read “Hands off our schools.”

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    “I feel like they should not close it, that’s my feelings on this," said Dominique Grant, whose preschooler will be displaced in the closures. "If we have to walk from here to the North Side it shall be done.”

    The protests come just days before the Chicago Board of Education is expected to vote on the closures at its meeting Wednesday.

    CTU Holds March, Rallies Against CPS Closings

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    CTU leaders, students and parents marched against CPS closures Saturday in the first of a three-day protest. (Published Sunday, May 19, 2013)

    “We are going to continue to put pressure and put pressure on the people that are going to make the decision,” said newly re-elected CTU President Karen Lewis.

    Many parents were upset about the closures, and said officials have yet to give them reasons for why their school was on the list.

    “There’s been an assault on our public schools, public services and our public properties,” said one speaker at the march. “This has gone too far.”

    Lewis said she believes the marches will make a difference.

    Recent reports site that up to 13 schools are being considered for removal from the list after pressure form area aldermen, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

    But Lewis said that’s only the beginning.

    “It’s still 40 schools. It’s entirely too many schools to try and close down,” she said.