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CPS Scraps Plans To Close Another School

Beidler Students

Students from Beidler Elementary School protest against the proposed closure of the school. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) – Another plan to consolidate some Chicago Public Schools students has been scrapped, thanks to an outpouring of outrage from parents.

CPS had planned to close Jacob Beidler Elementary, at 3151 W. Walnut St., on the city’s West Side, and move its students to Cather Elementary School a few blocks away at 2908 W. Washington Blvd. Beidler and a nearby campus park would be handed over to Urban Prep Charter High-East Garfield Park, which needs more space.

Parents were infuriated by the idea.

“Take your hands off Beidler – today, tomorrow, next month, next year – leave our school alone,” one woman said at the school board meeting.

The closing was part of a plan that originally called for consolidating eight schools into six others for next year.

But parents at Beidler worried that if the school closed, children would be forced to cross several rival gang territories in order to get school at Cather.

Complaints from parents also averted the CPS plan to close George W. Tilton Elementary School at 223 N. Keeler Ave. and merge it with two other schools.

The board decided to keep Tilton open also because four rival street gangs are active nearby, and combining students from Tilton and another school could pose a safety risk.