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Commision Finds CPS Has Capacity To Close Or Consolidate 80 Schools

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The Commission on School Utilization issued it’s final report today, stating that Chicago Public Schools has the capacity to consolidate approximately 80 schools rather than the 129 it initially reported.

Commission Chair Frank Clark told reporters during a conference today how the commission formulated this lowered number.

“The 80 schools are a universe of which we think tests the capacity of CPS to do this safely and efficiently. It also is an indication of the number of available seats in receiving schools that are better performing schools,” said Clark.

Clark also warned the commission’s suggestion can still be overridden.

“We provide recommendations, the district is free to either agree or disagree with our recommendation, but that is our recommendation,” said Clark.

CTU President Karen Lewis said the commission’s findings demonstrate the need to halt school closings, turnarounds until there is an independent study on the impact of the closings.

“The Commission’s report suggests that CPS should continue with its intent to destabilize thousands of our students by disrupting 80-plus school communities in a single year. This is outrageous,” said President Karen Lewis. “Given CPS’ history, there is no way it has the capacity to shut down 13 percent of our entire school district without mass chaos. Every school that is closed impacts another in the broader community. That’s one more child exposed to Chicago’s rising tide of violence.”

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