Schools face uncertain future as CPS's final vote approaches
by Tanya Basu and Paige Sutherland
Elizabeth Peabody Elementary School on Chicago’s West Side is on the chopping block. Ninety-five percent of the students are low income; 76 percent are Latino.
by Ananth Baliga and Lisa Carter
Chicago is known as a city of neighborhoods, but it may also be considered a city of blocks. Nathaniel Pope Elementary School students in North Lawndale would have to cross blocks in two major gang territories and a major highway to their new school less than a mile away.
The Chicago Board of Education will vote Wednesday whether to close Lafayette Elementary School — a Humboldt Park campus that houses the district’s largest elementary string orchestra. CPS and the orchestra’s partner, Merit School of Music, are in discussions about moving the program to its new school, but nothing has been finalized. Parents and students are anxious about the orchestra’s uncertain future.
If Chicago Public Schools go ahead with plans to close 54 schools, it will mean moves for more than 2,400 students with special needs. Parents and teachers worry that school changes will disrupt the progress of students with autism at Lafayette Elementary.