Students march against closings

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A student-organized march against school closings drew about 30 protesters to CPS’ 125 S. Clark St. headquarters today.

The group marched to City Hall and delivered a letter for Mayor Rahm Emanuel as they chanted slogans like “Students united will never be defeated” and “Whose schools? Our schools.”

Students involved said that closings will force them to cross gang lines, resulting in violence. They are also demanding an elected school board and reforms to tax-increment financing district (TIF) funds.

Allen Maris, a graduate of Little Village Lawndale High School, said she was protesting because her younger sisters are still in school and she fears that closings could spread to more schools in the future. (CPS has pledged a 5-year closing moratorium after this round, but the district’s pledge is not legally binding.) 

“This can spread to more than just the schools they are closing now. It’s a snowball effect,” Maris said.

CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll wrote in a statement that school consolidations will allow the district “to redirect those resources and move children safely to a higher-performing welcoming school” with better facilities.