Friday, December 1, 2017

WBEZ: Will Chicago Close Another 50 Schools?

In 2013 CPS closed 50 schools on Chicago's south and west sides. Now the debate restarts.
From the WBEZ article:
Nearly five years after shuttering a record number of under-enrolled schools, Chicago once again confronts the same stark realities: plummeting enrollment and more than 100 half-empty school buildings, most on the city’s South and West sides, according to a WBEZ analysis of school records.

Chicago Public Schools has lost 32,000 students over the last five years, nearly the same enrollment drop as in the 10-year period leading up to the closures of 50 elementary schools in 2013. Those missing students could fill 53 average-sized Chicago schools.

This massive enrollment decline comes as a self-imposed five-year moratorium on school closings lifts in 2018. Despite that, political observers and CPS insiders said they are not betting on Mayor Rahm Emanuel closing 50 more schools — at least not all at once.

Now bear in mind back in April 2012 when the issues of school closings were being discussed. It could've been as many as 100 schools at one time instead of 50. This time around the expectations would be it would be a slower process than it was in 2013.

Now the tweet you saw at the top was from last month, then the Tribune has a couple of posts about the enrollment declines in city high schools. Now the Chicago Public Schools have to look at the utilization of city high schools.
From the tweet above a list of those high schools
These 17 neighborhood high schools have been hardest hit by dwindling enrollment and poor academics:

Bowen, Corliss, Fenger, Gage Park, Harlan, Harper, Hirsch, Hope, Julian, Kelvyn Park, Manley, Marshall, Orr, Richards, Robeson, Tilden and Wells.
Harlan is hit by dwindling enrollment? As an alum this would bother me though a hard choice has to be made. Ultimately to close and then consolidate these many schools that are experience significant enrollment declines. Allow me to share with you this chart which has a line graph with numbers as far as enrolled students from 2007-08 to 2017-18.

Click graph for better resolution

As you see the line Harlan in '07-'08 had enrolled 1415 students by '17-'18 the school enrolled only 386. How much money did Harlan lose out on with their enrollment declines.

BTW, another Tribune article concerned Chicago Teacher's Union closing four high schools in the Englewood community for a new high school that could open by 2019.
More from that article:
It was the district’s previously announced plans to close four high schools in Englewood that led the CTU to call an “emergency press conference” on Thursday. CPS plans to close three of the city’s lowest-enrolled and poorest-performing neighborhood high schools — Robeson, Hope and Harper — along with the TEAM Englewood High School, at the end of this school year.

“What that’s going to do, is it’s going to destabilize the neighborhood further,” union Vice President Jesse Sharkey told reporters. “It’s going to make worse the flight out of that neighborhood, and you’re going to end up with a part of the city where there’s no neighborhood schools at all.”

The city announced the plans in June but has not yet offered details on the closings.

Sharkey said staff at Hope and Harper were informed those schools would close in June. According to Sharkey, a similar meeting was planned at Robeson for Friday morning.
Another aspects of enrollment declines in addition to academic performance and now a coming new school to Englewood.

Finally let me share with you artistmac talking about school closings from back in 2013. If there are more school closings in Chicago's future the arguments aren't much different than what has been heard in this video. [VIDEO]

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