CHICAGO (CBS) — There were rallies at schools across the city today as parents and teachers organize to save neighborhood schools.
CPS teacher Michelle Gunderson joined a group that stretched from Stockton Elementary at Montrose and Beacon and knocked on doors, spreading their message to save neighborhood schools.
“The neighborhood schools are so important because they serve all of our children, not just some of our children I know personally children who have been kicked out of charter schools because of behavior,” said Gunderson. “I do know of schools that end up with charter school children right before testing, so we can connect the dots there can’t we? We also don’t need to have our children crisscrossing our city in buses in order to find an education.”
Wendy Katten is with a parent group called, “Raise Your Hand.” She says the CPS list of 330 “underutilized” schools uses a formula allowing for 36 kids in a classroom.
“This school has 9 special ed classrooms, so when CPS calculates under-utilization, they are not taking into account that many rooms in this building have less than 15 kids in a classroom,” said Katten. “They are using this general formula to create a narrative that is exaggerated, basically to close many of our schools.”
There are currently more than 300 schools on the underutilized list.