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Parents At One Closing School Ask For More Time

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Parents and students at the schools CPS plans to close are wondering how much their input actually matters.

CBS 2’s Susanna Song went to an elementary school on the West Side to see what those parents think.

They weren’t shy at Ericson Scholastic Academy in Garfield Park, now that their school is on the chopping block.

Sixth-grader Kayana Jefferson said she’ll miss her principal, teacher and friends.

Kayana has attended that school for seven years.

CPS says it wants to close Ericson because enrollment is down more than 300 students over the past decade and only 65 percent of the building is being utilized.

The plan is to send the 500 plus students to Sumner Elementary a mile away.

“Parents feel it is the wrong timing,” said Georgia Ellis.

Latrice Payne is a parent and alum of the school. She graduated from Ericson in 1993.

“I just relocated back to Chicago and didn’t think of any other school,” she said. “Reality just hit, I didn’t think they were actually going to close the school down.”

She wishes CPS would take more time before making their decision.

Four generations of Michelle Rose’s family have studied at Ericson.

She suggests that CPS give the school until the beginning of next year to try to recruit more students.

Ald. Jason Ervin said consolidations won’t solve the budget problems.

The closures are “more geared to education quality than budget,” he said. “I understand that some changes need to be made, but at this level this fast these are the questions we have to deal with.”

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