CHICAGO (WBBM) — As expected, the Chicago Board of Education voted Wednesday to close, consolidate, phase-out or re-staff eight schools.
Protesting outside of school board headquarters, at 125 S. Clark St., Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart termed the closing and re-staffing, known at the Board as a “turnaround,” a back door method of replacing higher-paid, high-seniority teachers with new teachers who work for much less.
The only school that will close in June is Las Casas Occupational High School, 8401 S. Saginaw Av., for reasons the board termed “facilities-related.”
The McCorkle School, 4421 S. State St., will be consolidated into the Beethoven Elementary School, 25 W. 47th St.
The Schneider School, 2957 N. Hoyne, will be phased out.
- Curtis Elementary, 32 E. 115th St.;
- Deneen Elementary, 7257 S. State St.;
- Bradwell Elemenetary, 7736 S. Burnham Av.;
- Phillips High School, 244 E. Pershing Rd., and
- Marshall High School, 3250 W. Adams St.
Phillips teacher Martha Idewu (ih-DAY’-woo) said she finds it ironic that Phillips will be re-staffed because at least six times in the past 15 years, Phillips has been the receiving school as the Board of Education attempted a turnaround elsewhere. She said the effect has been “destabilizing” on Phillips.
The Academy for Urban School Leadership, headed by former Chicago School Finance Authority Chairman Martin Koldyke, will oversee the turnarounds at Curtis, Deneen, Bradwell and Phillips, and intends to spend $1 million a school on the improvement effort.
“As a staff, we would have been able to do phenomenal things” if given that money, Idewu said. Teachers and Parents from Phillips and Marshall argued in public comments that the system skims the good students off to magnet schools, then deprives the remaining students of materials and academic assistance they require for success.
Stewart promised some form of protest in the wake of the board’s action but wouldn’t specify if that would amount to a physical job action like a walkout, sit-in, or some other form of protest.
Read the original article from WBBM News Radio.