May 25, 2012
Today, the Circuit Court of Cook County has ruled in favor of the Chicago Board of Education in its motion to dismiss the Brown vs. Board of Education lawsuit that sought to block CPS’s plans to provide students attending some of the lowest performing schools in the district the opportunity to attend a higher quality school in their community. The ruling also reaffirms the Board’s authority to close, phase out and turn around failing schools to provide students in chronically low performing schools access to higher quality school options. In issuing the ruling, Judge Michael B. Hyman stated the Board has fully complied with the obligations imposed by state law.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) issued the following statement:
“This ruling is a win for students and families across the district. For too long, CPS has accepted a status quo that has failed its students year after year. It is our responsibility to take the actions needed to provide our students with access to higher quality school options to prepare them for college and career. In February, the Board took a critical step in this direction by passing some difficult but necessary proposals that will provide 7,500 students in some of the district's lowest performing schools access to higher performing school options. With almost one out of two students not graduating high school, and only 7.9 percent of our 11th graders testing college ready, it would be an injustice to wait another day to give our students access to the quality education they deserve.”
The current complaint has 12 separate claims – two of which were already dismissed because the Court found that the LSC-member plaintiffs lacked standing.
The 10 remaining claims are composed of three kinds:
- Claims that the criteria the Board used in selecting schools for closure and phase out violated the School Code because the Board didn’t follow the proper procedure in adopting or applying them, and because the criteria were not as clear as Plaintiffs believe the School Code requires (Counts III, IV, V and VI).
- Claims that the Board violated the School Code by failing to use any criteria whatsoever in selecting schools for turnaround (Counts VII and VIII).
- Claims that the Board violated the School Code by failing to provide adequate supports to the selected schools while they were on probation, and that this failure had a racially discriminatory impact on African Americans in violation of the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003 (Counts IX, X, XI and XII).
Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.