The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and a group of Chicago parents are asking a circuit court to block the school board from shutting down ten of the city’s schools. In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday, the plaintiffs claim that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) violated its own guidelines by disregarding the recommendations of independent hearing officers who objected to the closures.
The state of Illinois “requires the school board to establish guidelines for the closing of schools,” said CTU attorney Robert Bloch. “When it developed a proposed plan for closing schools, it obligated them to hold public hearings presided over by independent hearing officers.”
But when those hearing officers ruled that ten of the closures did not meet CPS’s own guidelines, alleges Block, CPS just ignored them. The guidelines allegedly being violated include a failure to adequately protect student safety and a failure to account for the needs of special needs students.