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CPS launches 27-day series of 180 public hearings on school closings on Saturday

Citizens Parents school students rally Wednesday evening House Prayer Church God during open meeting with Chicago Public Schools save neighborhood

Citizens, Parents, and school students, rally Wednesday evening House of Prayer Church of God during a open meeting with Chicago Public Schools to save neighborhood schools from closing. February 13 , 2013 I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: May 7, 2013 6:10AM

The final round of public hearings, the public’s last chance to petition to save 54 Chicago Public Schools and 61 buildings slated for closure begins Saturday at school sites around the city.

Twenty eight hearings take place Saturday, eight of which are for closing schools, six designated as welcoming schools, 13 proposed to share a building and one slated for relocation. Hearings continue until May 2; The Board of Education is expected to cast its final vote in late May.

Three hearings must be held for each school to be closed, two in the community and one at the Board of Education. For the six schools designated for turnaround — or a staff reboot — supporters have just one public hearing to make a case.

Schools Chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett made the recommendations to shutter the schools, mostly on the South and West sides, after months of collecting data and feedback for elementary schools she determined to be “underutilized” according to a CPS-developed formula.

Many schools on the closing list have geared up for these hearings, organizing buses to assemble supporters to speak.

But last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel held firm, saying the consolidations are necessary and going to happen. Negotiations are over, and it’s time to talk about implementation, the mayor said.

For a full list of hearing times and locations by school, visit

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