“I thank Governor Quinn for signing this bill and for his support of our work to ensure that the voices of parents and school communities are included at the front-end of this process. I also extend my gratitude to 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 helping us to do the right thing in building trust with the community. We look forward to the independent Commission on School Reform continuing its work and providing us with recommendations to implement a comprehensive plan to right-size our District so we may direct more resources to the classroom to support our students and their growth.”
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 by clicking here.
Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.