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CTU President Lewis Responds to CPS request to skip mandated Dec. 1 school closing deadline

CHICAGO – Today, Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis released the following statement in response to an announcement by Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett that she wants to push school closings announcements to March of next year rather than adhere to state law that requires a December 1 deadline.  At 4 p.m. today the CTU will join a number of organizations and parents at City Hall in a joint protest of school closings.

“We appreciate the CEO recognizes the CPS’ process around school closings is extraordinarily flawed. However, we do not support delaying the date to announce which schools will be targeted by the district for disruptive actions,” Lewis said.  “Given today’s assertion that CPS needs more time to unveil their newest community targets, the only announcement that makes sense on December 1st is ‘There will be no school closings this year.’  We have called for a moratorium on all school actions until we have an analysis of the devastating impact these actions have on our students and neighborhoods. 

“Clearly we need real analysis, meaningful conversations and valued community input from the parents and groups who have been on the frontlines of fighting for more resources and support for neighborhood schools. CPS must repair the damage that’s been done by these failed policies as it seeks to rebuild trust with the community,” she continued.

“CPS owes Chicago a legitimate fiscal plan that details how we build and support school communities. Taxpayers deserve stability on Clark Street and an end to the revolving door that has created chaos in our school system. They should not change the law because they have a change in leadership, said Lewis.”

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The Chicago Teachers Union represents 30,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in the Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the more than 400,000 students and families they serve.  The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third largest teachers local in the United States and the largest local union in Illinois.  For more information please visit CTU’s website at www.ctunet.com .

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Chicago Teachers Union