CPS schools closing: Emmet Elementary, May Academy on the list - FOX 35 News Orlando

CPS schools closing: Emmet Elementary, May Academy on the list

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

CPS will announce their school closings list on Thursday. Sources tell FOX 32 News that the proposed closings would move about 15,000 youngsters to new, higher-performing elementary schools nearby.

Sources say about a half-dozen poorly performing schools would not be shut down, but "turned-around"--with all their adult staff completely replaced by next September.

About 50 underperforming grade schools would close their doors, including two on the West Side.

Sources tell FOX 32 News that Robert Emmet Elementary, with fewer than 500 students in a school built for far more, is among those on the proposed closing list.

Curtis Lowe says his son was an honor student at Emmet. He predicted "problems" if Emmet students are moved to another campus.

"Gangs, transportation, you name it," Lowe says of the problems with moving Emmet children. "This is the area. So, for me it's not a good idea."

Other neighbors disagreed. They said Emmet Elementary has failed its young students for years.

"For real, those students aren't learning nothing in that school, but to be a gang banger," Zechy Taylor says. "Emmett ain't professional no more."

Sources tell FOX 32 News that Horacio May Community Academy is another of the 50 grade schools on the proposed closing list. Sources say the Board of Education would take final action on the list in late May or June. It's reportedly the largest single group of school closings ever in any American city.

Chicago Public Schools have lost so many students in recent years--especially on the West Side and South Side--that about 100,000 desks are empty.

"I don't have children, but I think it's really sad that they are intending to close a lot of schools," West Side resident Kisha Taylor says.

"They might do better. If this one is up to capacity, put them somewhere near the neighborhood that they can work and do what they gotta do," Deborah Brooks says.

Schools' CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has promised that every child moving will be going to a school with more resources and a higher level of learning than before.

In a statement Wednesday night, she said, "for too long children in certain parts of Chicago have been cheated."

President Karen Lewis of the Teachers Union issued a statement predicting "chaos" and destruction, declaring "one school closed is one too many." The union plans what it calls "massive civil disobedience" to protest.

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