Posts Tagged ‘school closing moratorium’

Update on school closing bill numbers, hearing dates

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Bill - CongressionalWrote this post earlier, passing on info from Jackie Leavy, and it seems to have disappeared. Woooooo.

  • SB 1571:  Chief Sponsor State Sen. William Delgado, Chair of the Senate Education Committee. State Sen. Jacqueline Collins is Chief Co-Sponsor. As of now, Sen. Delgado plans to call the bill for debate and a vote in the Senate Education Committee on TUESDAY, MARCH 19th, 1:00 PM in Springfield.

Important Disclaimer :  THINGS CHANGE rapidly in Springfield . . . Check the General Assembly website often – – to confirm hearing date!)

  • HB3283:  Chief Sponsor State Rep. Elgie R. Sims, Jr, Chief Co-Sponsor State Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch

– the companion bill to Sen. Delgado and Sen. Collins’ bill. PLEASE NOTE:  The House version has been sent to the RULES COMMITTEE-  a standard ploy to prevent a piece of legislation from being debated and called for a Vote.State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, Chair of the House Elementary/Secondary Education Committee joined her Latino Caucus coleagues at Monday’s Press Conference, but needs to be supported and encouraged to work with Rep. Sims to get his bill sent to her Committee.

Mayor wants to stop the school closing beatings – after this year

Monday, November 26th, 2012

At a City Club luncheon today, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced that Mayor Emanuel wants a 5-year school closing moratorium, but only after a massive closing program this year.

The Sun-Times reports:

Byrd-Bennett said Mayor Rahm Emanuel recognizes that Chicago Public Schools has made “too many piecemeal decisions’’ over the years concerning its school buildings. The result, Byrd-Bennett said, has been “unnecessary disruption to students, parents and schools across our city.’’ In a statement, Emanuel said, “In the past, there has been too much uncertainty around changes to our schools: year after year, Chicago Public Schools did not do an adequate job of engaging communities in these critical decisions, and year after year students, families and communities were left wondering of what was to come. That ends this year.”

Five reasons why a 5-year school closing moratorium – next year – is a stupid, desperate move.

1) If chaotic, disorganized closings are such a bad idea, stop doing it now. It sounds as if the mayor is saying, “I promise to stop beating you after I get in this last round of punches.” Never a good bet.

2) The Chicago public school community has no reason to trust any CPS leader. ” ‘I will personally commit to ensuring that this is a commitment CPS keeps,’ Byrd-Bennett told the Sun-Times said.” Right. The woman has been on the job for a couple of months and is the fifth CPS CEO in five years. Her commitment is not exactly reassuring.

3) The budget argument does not meet the research or common sense test. Underutilization was not even mentioned as a reason for school closings last year – did it just happen over this past summer? And research shows that school closures are not the cost savings that districts often claim they will be. A report on closures in 6 cities found that “Districts saved little money just from closing school buildings…and closure-related new costs cut further into districts’ savings….”

4) Parents are not falling for it, Mr Mayor. The idea that Byrd-Bennett’s new appointed commission will suddenly involve the community in a meaningful way is laughable. “In a statement, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that with a commission appointed by Chicago (sic) Byrd-Bennett parents will be more involved in any proposed changes to the district this year.” We’ve heard that empty promise too many times before to believe it now. The legally-constituted Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force, which has been investigating school closures for two years, found that CPS has failed to involve the public meaningfully and to follow state law with respect to school closings. Why would we trust a bogus commission that was clearly set up to circumvent the state process and fake community involvement?

5) Our children need stability NOW, not starting next year. CPS has failed utterly to keep its promises to follow the students whose schools were closed in past years and to supply them with needed support and resources. It’s time to start focusing on these students now, to stop harming more students, and to focus back on our neighborhood schools, working with their local school councils, and strengthening the core of the Chicago Public School system.

PSAT for 2-28-12: Go to Springfield!

Monday, February 27th, 2012

An early and urgent PSAT for tomorrow- if you can’t get on the bus for Springfield (see below), at least call your state senator  and ask him/her to sign on to SB3239, the school closing moratorium bill. Note below from Jackie Leavy and the CTU:


Dear Supporters of Great Public Schools for All Students:  Please note – the Chicago Teachers Union is trying to spread the word about availability of seats on a Bus to Springfield for the Tues Feb 28, 2:30 PM State Senate Ed Committee Hearing tomorrow”

“CTU is organizing a bus to go to Springfield this Tuesday, Feb. 28.  The Senate Education Committee is expected to hear the Moratorium bill on school closings, turnarounds, and phase-outs.  Below please find explanatory information on the bill and the Senate Ed Cte.  There is no cost.

We will provide coffee and donuts, and lunch.  Participants should bring some money for incidentals and dinner. We have space on this bus; your participation is Important and Essential!  Please RSVP to if you can participate in this critical hearing.

Phone #: (312) 329-6226

The bus will depart:

Tues. 2/28/12 at 8:00 a.m. from 1100 S. Hamilton (1 bl. north of Roosevelt, 2 bl. east of Western).  Low-cost parking is available in the Juvenile Detention parking garage.

Tentative schedule:
* arrive Springfield at 12 noon (travel time is approx 3 1/2 hours)
* quick lunch
* lobby legislators from 12:30-2:30
* attend hearing from 2:30 until end of hearing
* leave Springfield at end of hearing
* return to Chicago sometime between 8 and 10pm”

See the attached hand-out from CTU.


Here is the official notice:
97th General Assembly
Hearing Notice For Education

Members    Notice of Hearing    Bills

Hearing Scheduled for Feb 28, 2012

Chairperson     James Meeks
Vice-Chairperson     Kimberly Lightford
Minority Spokesperson     David Luechtefeld
Scheduled Date:    Feb 28, 2012 2:30PM
Location:    409 Capitol
Springfield, IL

Chairperson :    James T. Meeks    D    708) 862-1515    (217) 782-8066
Vice-Chairperson :    Kimberly A. Lightford    D    708) 343-7444    (217) 782-8505
Member:    Annazette R. Collins    D    (312) 733-5009    (217) 782-6252
Member:    Susan Garrett    D    (847) 433-2002    (217) 782-3650
Member:    Iris Y. Martinez    D    (773) 463-0720    (217) 782-8191
Member:    John G. Mulroe    D    (773) 763-3810    (217) 782-1035
Minority Spokesperson :    David S. Luechtefeld    R    (618) 243-9014    (217) 782-8137
Member:    Christine J. Johnson    R    815) 895-6318    (217) 782-1977
Member:    Kyle McCarter    R    (618) 654-4068    (217) 782-5755
Member:    Suzi Schmidt    R    (224) 372-7465    (217) 782-7353

Save the date? Il Sen Ed Committee hearing set for Friday

Monday, February 20th, 2012

While no plans are ever completely solid in Springfield, a State Senate Education Committee hearing has been called for Fri, 02/24, at 9:30 AM in Springfield, with Sen. Martinez’ school closing and turnaround moratorium bill (SB 3239) on the agenda.

Here’s the link to the hearing notice, which you can check for updates closer to the date.

Here’s the contact information for the Senate Education Committee members and the language of the moratorium bill.

Given the timing of this hearing, people may find it the perfect opportunity to share their reactions to Wednesday’s Chicago Board of Education vote on school closings and turnarounds.


PSAT for 1-24-12: Call for a moratorium on school closings

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

We’ve done it before, but the momentum for demanding a citywide moratorium on school closings grows stronger than ever.

Why do I say that?

1) The front-page headline story in the Sun-Times exposing the rent-a-protesters at school closing hearings has turned up the heat on CPS and its refusal to listen to the real people in the school communities who are affected by district actions.

2) The Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force (CEFTF), a state legislative advisory body established to assure that CPS facilities decisions are fair and transparent, has done its due diligence in collecting information and analyzing the CPS process and policy. The CEFTF has determined on a near-unanimous vote to report to the Illinois General Assembly that the CPS school closing and turnaround process is out of compliance with Public Act 97-0474 (only the CPS representative voted no).  Rep. Cynthia Soto, CEFTF co-chair, is preparing to introduce a bill calling for a moratorium.

3) Community-generated plans for school improvement, such as the “Bronzeville Global Achievers Village School Improvement Plan,” are beginning to resonate with the public (see this story, for example, about changes to a legislative proposal in Florida to include consideration of parent-generated school improvement plans when schools are considered for intervention).

For today’s Public Schools Action Tuesday, please send a quick message like the following to CPS here and to Mayor Emanuel here, and if you have an extra minute, to your alderman:

CPS under mayoral control has had 17 years to fix our schools. By working against the desires, proposals, and concerns of local stake holders, CPS has nearly decimated the school system without significantly raising achievement. It’s time for a moratorium on school closings and turnarounds. CPS must re-engage with parents and the entire school community through LSCs, PACs, and other meaningful opportunities for open dialogue, collaborative planning, and all-way accountability.

There’s a Board meeting tomorrow where many threatened schools will be represented, and there are hearings this week and ongoing about the changes CPS proposaes for these schools:

Tuesday, January 24

5:30 to 8:30 pm – Crane Closing hearing, Talent Development Co-location hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

Wednesday, January 25

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Best Practice HS Closing hearing at 125 S Clark Street, Rm 1550

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – ACT Charter and Nash Co-location hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

Thursday, January 26

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Chi Arts and Doolittle Co-location hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Guggenheim Closing hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

Friday, January 27

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Dyett HS Phase-out hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Lathrop Closing hearing at 125 S Clark Street, 5th floor Board Chambers

Monday, January 30

5:30-7:30 p.m. – Casals AUSL Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Piccolo AUSL Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

Tuesday, January 31

5:30-7:30 p.m. – Herzl AUSL Turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Stagg AUSL Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

Wednesday, February 1

5:30-7:30 p.m. – Fuller AUSL Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Woodson South OSI Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

Thursday, February 2

5:30-7:30 p.m. – Marquette AUSL Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Smith OSI Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

Friday, February 3

5:30-7:30 p.m. — Chicago Vocational OSI HS Turnaround hearing at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Tilden OSI Turnaround hearing, at 125 S. Clark St, 5th Floor Board Chambers


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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.