Teachers union protest CPS plans to improve charter schools - FOX 32 News Chicago

PHOTOS: Teachers union protests new charter schools for CPS

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago Board of Education is considering whether to approve four new charter schools and a conversion to a charter, while it determines which CPS schools to close at the end of the year. The teachers union has a big problem with that.

The locations have not been determined yet, and the board has a long conversation about it at Wednesday's meeting.

The union said Emanuel has been meeting with a big-money booster of charter schools, but won't meet with them about improving neighborhood schools - some of which are being shut down. Charter schools can use non-union teachers.

A group of teachers and parents displayed an oversize letter to Mayor Emanuel in the lobby before the board meeting Wednesday, demanding a community meeting with him and insisting that the board put on the brakes on school closings and consolidation.

The group was energized by a Tribune report that claims there is an internal document dated in September a plan to close schools on the South and West Side.

SEE: CPS document shows city has school closure plans

The demonstrators believe the board has not been honest about the process. They also protested Tuesday night outside of CPS headquarters.

"The board of education is trying to close schools, neighborhood schools and open charter schools which are moneymakers for the people who are backing the mayor," Tom Lalagos said.

CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett opened Wednesday's meeting by saying there is no list. She said any plan devised before she became CEO is not endorsed by her, and that decisions won't be made until the community gets a chance to weigh in.

Byrd-Bennett repeated her assertion that there are 100,000 fewer students in the system right now. Some schools are going to have to close. And that will be a difficult.

But CPS said it's expanding several types of high quality options for children, including charter schools and neighborhood schools.

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