April 11, 2011
Chicago Public Schools today withdrew a proposal to consolidate Jacob Beidler Elementary School into Willa Cather Elementary School and change the attendance boundary for Cather.
The Beidler-Cather plan was withdrawn at the beginning of a public hearing scheduled to present testimony on the proposed consolidation. Officials said the decision to withdraw the proposal followed community meetings and discussions with stakeholders. Given the community’s input, the Chief Executive Officer has decided not to recommend this consolidation and attendance area boundary change to the Chicago Board of Education.
Despite withdrawing the Beidler-Cather proposal, CPS continues to believe that action is needed in these and other schools to provide the best education to children. CPS is working on a comprehensive, long-range plan that includes criteria to address future realities facing its schools, including declining enrollment in communities and shifts in population throughout the city. The Beidler and Cather facilities together have 1,650 seats and only approximately 627 students enrolled. Furthermore, both schools have been declining in enrollment, a trend that is expected to continue.
CPS will continue in its efforts to use the district’s resources in the best and most cost-efficient way possible during this time of financial hardship.
Chicago Public Schools serves 409,279 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.