November 28, 2012
“I’d like to thank the sponsors of this legislation, the leaders and members of the Illinois House and Senate and in particular Senator Iris Martinez, Leader Barbara Flynn Currie and Representative Cynthia Soto for supporting our efforts to engage the community at the front end of this process to ensure we can conduct a transparent and respectful conversation with parents and school communities around this important work on behalf of our students.
“It is essential that we have the necessary time to work with the community to identify the steps we need to take in the coming months to right-size our District and better invest our limited resources, which are currently being spread too thin. More time means we can work in true partnership with our school communities and listen to their concerns and ideas. Difficult decisions will still need to be made, but we will be able to make them with the community, not dictate them to the community.”
Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Public Schools
Background on this legislation:
This legislation ensures that CPS has the time we need to properly engage the community, as well as adds necessary supports for our students. The statutory deadline to announce school actions for this school year will move to March 31, 2013, which will give the Commission on School Utilization the time they need to rigorously engage the community, gather data and provide their recommendations around school closures and consolidations. CPS will provide notice of proposed school actions at least 15 calendar days in advance of any public hearings or meetings.
To ensure as little disruption as possible to our students, this legislation also ensures that students affected by school actions receive a comparable level of social support services from CPS at their new school, as they would have received at their old school, and class sizes at welcoming schools cannot become overcrowded as a result of a school action. Changes also were included in the legislation concerning school action guidelines. To ensure ongoing rigorous community engagement, guidelines will be created with the involvement of local school councils (LSCs), parents, teachers and community organizations. CPS will now publish draft guidelines by Oct. 1 each year, instead of Nov. 1.
You can view the legislation that was approved in the House and Senate by clicking on the links below.
Amendment to the first amendment
Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.