Of the 129 schools that face the chopping block in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) next wave of school closures, 117 have a majority African-American student body.
According to an analysis by the Chicago Sun-Times, that translates to the statistic that nine out of 10 students facing school closures are black.
bothers me that schools that are in mixed neighborhoods, schools that
are mostly Hispanic or Caucasian, they don’t seem to show interest to
close them,” Willetta Gary, a substitute teacher at Shoop Academy, told
the newspaper. “Children fare best when they can attend school in their
own neighborhood where they live.”
CPS chief executive officer
Barbara Byrd-Bennett says race is not an issue during school
closures, adding that instead she is making an attempt to “right size” the district.
is using building utilization as criteria for the next wave of school
closures, eliminating roughly 100,000 empty seats. According to the
district, nearly 140 schools are more than half empty. The school system
has classroom space for more than 500,000 students, but just over
400,000 students are enrolled.
“Every child in every neighborhood
in Chicago deserves to have a high-quality education that will prepare
them to succeed in life,” Byrd-Bennett said in an emailed statement to
the Sun-Times. “These numbers show that right now, that is not
happening, and a disproportionately high rate of our African-American
children are in schools that lack the resources necessary to give them
an education we can all be proud of.”