CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Public Schools officials and Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday that it’s too early to say how many schools might need to be closed to make the system more efficient.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports CPS Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett rejected talk of a secret plan to close as many as 120 under-performing and low-enrollment schools.

But she acknowledged the concept of school closings is being discussed.

“I’ve asked everybody at central headquarters to put everything on the table, so that we can examine it all, in juxtaposition to what’s gonna be best for kids,” she said. “So there are no … I’m amazed, I felt like Roosevelt, like there’s a little plan in the bottom desk drawer? No, there isn’t.”

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports

Emanuel said, for too long, the city has avoided facing the fact there are too many empty seats at several schools. He said that’s not efficient, and not a good way to spend money when more revenue is needed.

“After a decade of postponing that decision, we too have to deal with that. But each of these issues have been postponed, pushed off, hoping that something else will take care of them. And hope is not a strategy,” Emanuel said. “So we’re going to deal with it, and come to terms with it, but in a way that the community is engaged.”

So, it’s almost certain there will be school closings, but Emanuel said there will be public input along the way.

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