Parents Enroll 78 Percent of Students During Early Enrollment for New Schools - NBC Chicago
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Parents Enroll 78 Percent of Students During Early Enrollment for New Schools



    The Chicago Public Schools announced Monday that 78 percent of students from schools closing in a plan to shutter 50 Chicago schools, have enrolled in their new schools early for the next school year.

    Of the 11,800 students currently attending closing schools, over 9,200 have enrolled in their new school with nearly 83 percent of those students choosing to attend their designated “Welcoming School,” according to CPS Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

    “I am encouraged to see so many parents from closing schools already choosing to early enroll their children in their new school,” CEO Byrd-Bennett said in a statement.

    CPS recently launched a comprehensive enrollment campaign encouraging parents via phone calls, text messages, emails, letters and fliers to sign their children up early.

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    Parents who have not registered their children will still be able to do so throughout the summer.

    The school board voted last week to shut 50 schools and programs. Many experts say it's the largest number of closings at any one time by any school district in recent memory. Most of the schools are scheduled to close at the end of the current academic year, although one closing was delayed by a year.

    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. Critics have blasted Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who appoints the school board, and schools chief 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.

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    Robert Bloch, the union's general counsel, says the Chicago Board of Education violated state law when it votd to shut down 10 elementary schools.
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    The Chicago Teachers Union and parents of public school students filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court alleging that Illinois law bars the Chicago Board of Education from closing 10 elementary schools it voted to shut because independent hearing officers determined those closures failed to comply with the board’s own guidelines.

    In another legal challenge, a federal judge will start hearing evidence July 16 from parents who argue in two lawsuits that black and disabled students are unfairly affected by the closures.