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CPS to hold more hearings on school closings

Updated: February 13, 2013 6:07AM

As the district prepares to close schools, Chicago Public Schools will hold at least 28 more community meetings across the city so the public can give feedback about specific schools, the district announced Friday.

Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett is still considering the first round of recommendations made Thursday by her independent commission tasked with evaluating schools. The Sun-Times found that if Byrd-Bennett were to accept all her panel’s suggestions, including leaving all high schools and high performing schools open, she’d be left with 137 schools of the district’s 681 to consider closing.

CPS said it will release its own list of schools “that remain on the table for possible consideration as part of its efforts to right-size the District” after Byrd-Bennett decides which of the recommendations, if any, she’ll accept.

The commission already held a series of public meetings; these instead will be led by CPS, according to the district. A schedule is not yet available.

“We recognize the need for a more granular level of community engagement — it’s something we’ve heard loud and clear as part of the community meetings the Commission on School Utilization has hosted over the last several weeks,” said CEO Byrd-Bennett. “It is critical that the community has the chance to give us their feedback on individual schools, and we want to provide them with that opportunity.”

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