WIN: Following Community Opposition, North Lawndale Schools Closure Plan Withdrawn For Now

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Sumner Elementary School, 4320 W. 5th Avenue, Photo Credit: Google Maps

Crown Community Academy of Fine Arts, 2128 S St Louis Ave. Photo Credit: Google Maps

“Opponents are celebrating the withdrawal of a proposal that would close three under-enrolled elementary schools and build a new school for North Lawndale, while its authors say they plan to resubmit the plan after more community input.

“The proposal, which detailed a plan to close and consolidate the students from Lawndale Community Academy, Sumner Math and Science Community Academy and Crown Community Academy of Fine Arts, faced opposition from many parents, students and staff members who would be affected.

“With Tuesday the deadline to introduce a school action for the academic year, Chicago Public Schools said no such actions are moving forward this time, in North Lawndale or elsewhere. Once a school action is put forth, it’s subject to a series of public meetings and a vote by the Chicago Board of Education.

“Those against the proposal want investment in existing schools and question if a new building would really prove less costly, while proponents say students at the three schools, which are each less than a third full, would be best served by combining resources.

“The proposal’s authors wrote that closing those schools is ‘inevitable,’ and that their plan presents an opportunity for children on the West Side.

“The North Lawndale Parent and Community Coalition, a group of families, educators and community members who petitioned CPS to turn down the proposal, held a news conference Tuesday evening outside Crown ‘to celebrate the community power that kept three North Lawndale schools open and begin the process for a parent-led proposal that will address the root cause of under-enrollment these schools face.’

“Members held familiar signs, including ‘Fund Our School,’ ‘No Merger’ and ‘Not Again.'” (Leone, Chicago Tribune, 12/2/20)

Read the full story at Chicago Tribune

Divisive North Lawndale school consolidation proposal is now on hold: ‘We took a stand as a community’, Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, 12/2/20

Blueprint for change or another blow to North Lawndale? A call to close 3 schools and open another has split a Chicago community in need of rebuilding, Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, 11/30/20

West Side Parents Protest Plan For New STEAM School: ‘Take The Money … And Invest That Into Our Existing Schools; Proponents of the new school say the proposal is overwhelmingly popular among Lawndale residents. But some say closing three schools is too high a price to pay, Pascal Sabino, Block Club Chicago, 11/6/20

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