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As school closings loom, 27,000 CPS students now enrolling in new schools

Updated: June 25, 2013 6:34AM



The massive task of enrolling 27,000 students in different Chicago Public Schools began Thursday — a day after the Board of Education made a historic vote to shutter 50 schools.

Enrollment runs through May 31, giving parents little more than a week to register their children in-person for the fall. Both closing and welcoming schools will host registration as kids prepare to switch schools. Schools will stay open until 7 p.m. to handle enrollment. And five enrollment fairs are also being held throughout the city.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CPS CEO, said in a statement it was time to “begin to look forward and prepare for the next school year on behalf of our children.”

“The sooner principals can identify student enrollment, the better prepared they will be to support all student needs on the first day of school,” Byrd-Bennett said.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis characterized the enrollment plan as rushed — a concern because the process is going to be “more complicated than most people understand.”

“I think this is how they [CPS] do everything. You’ve got to hurry up. You’ve got to do it now. We can’t wait any longer. It’s just insanity,” Lewis said. “…Now you’re going to introduce school-based budgeting. You’re doing too much. You can’t even do one thing well. You’re going to do all of these things badly and somehow it’s going to be our fault.”

Meanwhile, some parents continued to struggle with the decision of where to send their kids.

Nina Stoner, a mother of four students at West Pullman Elementary said Thursday she won’t let her kids go to Haley Elementary at 114th and Eggleston: “I’m thinking about home schooling. It’s too much that we have to go through,” Stoner said. “Our kids’ lives are at stake going to Alex Haley.”



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