Cannibalizing the system

From today’s Tribune:

Chicago Public Schools said Friday it plans to add four more charter schools to the nine charters previously approved for the coming year, which quickly became fuel for critics of the district’s plans to close many neighborhood schools.

“It simply makes their argument, ‘We have to close schools,’ sound ridiculous,” said Julie Woestehoff, executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education. “It would be one thing if charter schools were vast improvements, but what we know is they’re not. Essentially (CPS) is cannibalizing the system to privatize it.”

School closings opponents charge that the district has been diverting resources to privately run but publicly funded charter schools for years. CPS, faced with a projected budget deficit of $1 billion next year, says it has to close neighborhood schools because it cannot continue to maintain the many schools it says are operating far below full enrollment.

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.