Sixteen schools approved for closing, turnaround

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Following nearly four hours of public comment, most of it against school closings, the School Board voted today to approve 16 closings and turnarounds. Speakers at the standing-room-only meeting included students and others from more than 25 schools, as well as educators and representatives of community organizations. Schools that will close are Nia, Foundations, Princeton, South Chicago, Abbott, Davis Developmental, Medill, Schiller, Carpenter, Lathrop, Reed and Best Practices; schools that will undergo turnarounds are Fenger, Dulles, Johnson and Bethune. Six schools proposed for closing or turnarounds were spared earlier this week by CEO Ron Huberman. One of the six was Peabody, located in state Rep. Cynthia Soto’s district. Soto has proposed legislation, backed by community groups and the Chicago Teachers Union, calling for a one-year moratorium on school closings and for development of a comprehensive school facilities plan.