Parents, Teachers Protest Pending School Closures

CPS seeks extension in releasing list of schools to close

Chicago teachers and parents took the city's streets today, this time to protest a different issue -- looming school closings.

Protestors marched from Cityfront Plaza to a Hyatt Hotel off of Michigan Avenue, a location chosen because board of education member Penny Pritzker's family started the hotel chain. The group entered the hotel lobby and staged a mock classroom before reconvening outside.

"It's about the kids. They're trying to block out Chicago public school system kids from getting an education," said Theresa Mayweather, president of the local school council.

Some believe it's a battle over resources, pitting struggling public schools against charter schools.

"Education should be the same across the board," protestor Lisa Russell said.

Earlier this month, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett sought extension on the December 1 deadline to provide a list of schools that will close. She wants to wait until March 31 to release the list, but the extension would first need state legislature approval.

Byrd-Bennett is seeking the extension in order to engage more people in the process before any final decisions are made. A nine-member Commission on School Utilization would lead the engagement effort.

The Chicago Teacher's Union is against any school closures.

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