Deep in Debt Chicago Closes 11% of Schools

During the reign of Chicago’s Favorite Son, the Windy City’s population dropped from 2.83 million to 2.7 million. Chicago is deep in debt and with charter schools rising, those families who can are escaping either the city or its broken educational system.

This isn’t going over well at the Marxist Chicago Teachers’ Union and its insane boss, but it’s hard to demand higher salaries “for the kids” when the kids are going elsewhere.

So Obama’s own godfather is trying to kill the beast with another approach by closing a whole bunch of useless underpopulated schools.

School officials here said Thursday they plan to close 53 elementary schools and one high school, one of the largest mass school closings in the nation’s history, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel seeks to fill a gaping budget hole.

The move to close about 11% of the 472 elementary schools in the nation’s third-largest school district this fall sparked anger from the teachers union, some elected aldermen, parents and neighborhood groups who vowed to fight the move.

District officials said enrollment declines and students shifting to charter schools—public schools run by independent groups—have left 100,000 extra classroom seats in the city. The figures are based on the district’s ideal class size of 30 students; currently, most schools have between 24 and 28 students in each classroom, according to district documents.

Charter school students make up over 50,000 of Chicago’s 400,000 students. So it’s not surprising that the teachers’ unions are flying into a frenzy. They can see the writing on the wall.

Karen Lewis, the head of the Chicago Teachers Union, said Mr. Emanuel is sending the district into “utter chaos,” and that closings are unnecessary, won’t save money and would expose students to academic and safety concerns. The “school-closing policies put our students at real, not imagined, risk,” she said.

Yes, at risk of escaping the greedy maw of Karen Lewis, Chicago’s own Jabba the Hut.

Philadelphia announced earlier this month plans to close 23 schools. Kansas City shut 40% of its 64 campuses in 2010, and Detroit closed about 14% of its schools in 2006. But several experts said Chicago’s announcement might represent the largest number of schools closed at once. All told, the district will close 54 programs located in 61 school buildings.

  • AdinaK

    The situation is indeed a paradox. The "godfather" of Chicago, a Mafia Don of sorts, one of "The One's" radical henchmen, is indeed wielding a hatchet. In other words, at the same time that a hard left Mayor has to somehow deal with the fiscal crisis, a crisis his boss and surrogates created, their main supporters, the thuggish teacher's unions, are up in arms.
    IF one has to think of an apt description, it is kismet.
    On the other hand, the kiddies are suffering, and the above crew couldn't care less. Besides, what else can one expect when radical revolutionaries have taken over, not only in Washington, but in key blues states –

    The students are expendable fodder. Really.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel

  • Edward Cline

    The best solution would be to close ALL the public schools, sell off the properties to whoever might want to buy them, move to make the charter schools completely private, and defang the teachers' union. Let the poor babies in the union eat cake for once. Find real, honest jobs, preferably non-union jobs. See how they like working for the beans the city once taxed the private sector to support their formerly well-heeled life styles. Fire the principals and school administrators, let them find jobs managing MacDonalds franchises or laundromats.

    • gerry

      Yes this seems a good idea,but these people will be freely roaming the streets and the crim rate might soar!

  • BS77

    Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC, Camden…fifty million Americans on food stamps….fifteen million illegal aliens floating around the nation…..twenty million unemployed…taxes going up….the nation is nearly 17 TRILLION dollars into deficit….nothing to worry about, keep moving folks, nothing to see here…..

    • gerry

      Just wait and there will be plenty to worry about!

  • stevef

    Not to worry….RE will blame the closings on the GOP and the greedy white folks.

  • Rianna Richards

    I bet after Chicago then Detroit is next? Thanks for sharing; this is very sad news indeed.

  • AnOrdinaryMan

    Shut down the Federal Dept. of Education; its only been in operation since 1976. This would save Americans $150 billion annually, and also weaken the infernal teacher's unions. With that money returned to states and localities, they could afford to keep a few of these schools open.

  • patron

    Pensions cost the most money. I doubt the Codfather did this without the NEA communists approving it first.

    I could see how that conversation would go:

    The school's are closing? uh-huh.
    The employees we are represent will get screwed over again? yeah … right.
    The hordes of illiterate goons we've been appeasing with month old fish sticks and dodgeball will be unleashed? sure….

    Pension's ok, right?

    Each side knows the complete lack of integrity involved. As long as the money flows, and as long as there's no immediate recall, who cares about next election? It's years away. Plenty of taxpayer to hand out to secure elections by then.

  • Mary Sue

    everybody always throws a fit around here when they want to close a school–even if there's hardly anyone GOING to that school cuz there are hardly any kids to attend them!