As CPS prepares to close a record number of schools, the fate of students and communities is in question.
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Parents organize to protect area schools
Logan Square parents and community activists held a rally Friday morning in front of Ames Middle School. After rumors circulated about plans to re-purpose the middle school, the group decided to form the Logan Square Schools Facilities Committee. CPS officials denied the rumors, but parents are still skeptical, says Maria Trejo, a Logan Square Neighborhood Association staff member who works inside Ames. The committee will come up with their own plan for how schools in the community should be used and hopes that CPS officials will vet proposals with them, she says.
Parents want to be proactive, rather than wait until they are fighting an already-announced school action, such as a closing or turnaround, says Bridget Murphy, an education organizer for the association. Parents are especially alarmed because of recent news that CPS plans to open 100 new schools in coming years, she says. Also, reacting to announcements about school closures or turnarounds does not seem to be a successful strategy with the current administration, she says. This past year, school officials did not reverse any plans for closures or turnarounds, despite strong community opposition.
Two members of CPS’ community and family engagement department attended the rally, but did not comment on the concerns of parents.