CHICAGO (CBS) — Dozens of Chicago Public Schools are slated to close come August and today many parents got a chance to sound-off in front of district leaders since news of the closings came last month.
Whitney Young High School will be hosted three community meetings today, with start times staggered at 10, 12:30, and 3 Saturday afternoon.
News of the school closings sparked a number of protests and rallies against the decision. There are a total of 13 meetings Saturday, and each session will discuss specific school closings.
Parents and community members were able to ask questions and direct feedback to district leaders.
A meeting on the closing of Leif Ericson Scholastic Academy was held at Manley High School.
Ericson School 7th grade student Dejanee Hudson could find only one comparison to the decision to close her school, that of a broken family.
“I feel like DCFS just came to Leif Ericson and just took me from my home. That’s what I feel like, and it hurts because all of us are a family,” said Hudson.
Parent Vicki Toup said the system is not taking a creative view toward a possible solution.
“Rather than close them, why not put money into making these neighborhood schools real community schools with not only after-school programs but use them as social centers even on the weekends where we could have family game nights teen dances, skating parties,” said Toup.
CPS leaders and the mayor say this consolidation plan will get rid of underutilized and under resourced schools, but opponents say this is a bad deal.
“Any part of Chicago that’s trying to rebuild the neighborhood is important. If you take them out of where they live, what does that say to the child?” said Shirley Miller.
“It has to be done so we achieve the goal that every parent everybody in the city wants which is a child to have a high quality education,” said Mayor Emanuel.
There was also a meeting at 10 a.m. by a group boycotting today’s CPS meetings at Horatio May Community Academy.
The next round of CPS meetings begins Monday. Click here for a full schedule of the meetings.