CPS School Closing Investments: Despite Budget Deficit, CEO Pledges To Bolster Receiving Schools

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In the ongoing battle over Chicago Public School closures, the district is putting a glossy sheen on the news thousands of the city's children — most of them black or Latino — will see their neighborhood schools shuttered as they're moved to a new "welcoming" school this year.

(UPDATE: Later Wednesday, the Sun-Times reported that CPS on Thursday will formally announce their plans to close about 50 of the district's elementary schools.)

CPS is claiming it will only take two years for it to recoup the costs of moving children to new schools and improving the receiving buildings. The district, however, demurred on specific figures, citing the list of schools to close has yet to be finalized. The list is due by March 31 but expected sooner so that Byrd-Bennett can make recommendations.

Parents have also been digging in their heels over the closures, adding their voices to a series of explosive community hearings on the closures.

Byrd-Bennett, however, told NBC delaying the decision would be "criminal."

"It is really important for us not to defer these decisions any longer," the CEO said. "We've got at least two decades of decay, of children not being able to receive the kind of education that they should."

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