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Parents Want Mayor To Halt School Closures, Meet With Them First

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Parents of Chicago Public Schools students protest outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office on Dec. 19, 2011, demanding a halt to plans to close several schools next year. (Credit: CBS)

Parents of Chicago Public Schools students protest outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office on Dec. 19, 2011, demanding a halt to plans to close several schools next year. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Parents of Chicago Public Schools students gathered outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office Monday to demand he hold off on plans to close or overhaul several public schools and meet with them.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports that parents from the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization said four of their schools would be affected by the Board of Education’s school action plan for next year.

Spokesman Shannon Bennett called for a meeting with the mayor to discuss the group’s ideas for transforming under-performing schools.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

The protesters said their plans would cost less than the Emanuel administration’s current plans.

The school district plans to shutter five under-performing schools, phase out two others and “turn around” 10 other schools by replacing the entire school staff, but keeping students at the schools.

“We’ve met with [Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude] Brizard. We have been very, very unhappy with the response,” Bennett said. “He’s been given our plan. He’s met with these parents and stared them in the face and told them that he will respond. What he’s continued to do is give you these sound bites as if these are the failing schools. … That is incorrect.”

Parents and other activists said the ideas that Brizard employs have been failing them for decades.

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