Opponents attack CPS plan for new high school as vacant seats abound
Despite an abundance of empty school seats, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system is moving forward with a $5 million to $10 million plan to convert a South Loop elementary school into a high school, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The new school would replace the highly rated National Teachers Academy (NTA). The plan has received some harsh criticism.
"What is happening right now in the South Loop fits into the repeated Chicago narrative of CPS consistently compromising and displacing students of color," Elisabeth Greer, the chairwoman of NTA’s school council, told the Tribune. "The process has not been transparent or fair to the NTA community. We demand to be engaged in a fair and open discussion about our school."
The plan also has been attacked by critics who say CPS should instead work to trim its budget by closing schools with low occupancy. An analysis earlier this year showed 116 of CPS’s schools are at less than 50 percent occupancy, with 77 at less than 30 percent occupancy. Closing the schools could potentially save CPS $181 million. Phillips High School, the current South Loop high school, has a capacity of 1,834 students but a student body of 635.
According to the Tribune, CPS was holding a second hearing on plan.
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