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Hearings scheduled on school closings, turnarounds, phase outs, and consolidations in Chicago

The 2009 Renaissance 2010 "School Closings, Consolidation, Phase Out, and Turnaround" hearings begin on Monday, January 26, 2009, with hearings at CPS headquarters at 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

The complete schedule of the hearings (as of January 25; these might be changed) is below.

For many teachers, parents, and community activists, this will be the most intense three weeks of activity in recent history. Beginning Wednesday with 12 hours at the Board meeting in Chicago and continuing until the Board's February 25 meeting, people will be active almost every weekday and often on weekends as well. The January 10, 2009, hearings at Malcolm X College (combined with the protests at the December 17 Board of Education meeting by teachers and students from seven CPS schools) have set the stage for a major confrontation between those who want to eliminate public schools in Chicago and those who want to save public education, public school unions, and democracy. Those who want to replace as many schools as possible with private schools have been "winning" since April 2002, when Arne Duncan annonced the first "renaissance" schools (Dodge, Terrell and Williams) closings. The hearings for January and February 2009 are as follows:

January 26, 2009 (Monday). Ren 2010 hearings (Chicago public schools closings, condolidations, phase outs, and turnarounds) begin at 125 S. Clark St. Davis Developmental ("consolidation") at 3:00 p.m. and Las Casas Occupational ("closing") at 5:30 p.m.

January 28, 2009 (Wednesday). Chicago Board of Education meeting. People will begin gathering to sign up for public participation speaking at 6:00 a.m. Sign up will be from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. The Coalition of groups opposing Renaissance 2010 -- now called GEM -- will hold a press conference at 10:00. All groups (including CTU) will picket and protest at 3:30 outside the Board.

January 29, 2009 (Thursday). Ren 2010 hearings continue at 125 S. Clark St. South Chicago Elementary (closing) at 3:00 p.m.; Peabody Elementary (closing) at 5:30; Carpenter Elementary ("phase out") at 8:00 p.m.

January 30, 2009 (Friday). Ren 2010 hearings continue at 125 S. Clark St. Nia and Foundations Elementary (closing) at 3:00 p.m.; Princeton Elementary (closing) at 5:30.

January 31, 2009. (Saturday). Ren 2010 hearings continue at 125 S. Clark St. Abbott Elementary (closing) at 9:00 a.m.

"Community hearing" on Las Casas Occupational (closing) in South Chicago at Ninos Heroes Elementary School, 8344 S. Commercial), 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

January 31, 2009. (Saturday). Chicago Board of Education and the "Renaissance Schools Fund" will be hosting a "New Schools Expo" promoting charter schools and other attacks on public schools at Chicago's Soldier Field from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Parking is "free" and the event is being promoted by the Chicago Board of Education (including Robo calls from Rufus Williams to all CPS families). Some CPS families received robo-calls every day during the week of January 26 - January 30 urging them to attend the "New Schools Expo." Meanwhile, the Board of Education barely publicized the deadline for regular CPS charter schools and failed to provide most parents with copies of the current Elementary Schools Director in time for the December 19, 2008, deadline for applying. Rufus Williams did not make robo-calls for the December 19 deadline.

February 2, 2009 (Monday). Ren 2010 hearings continue at 125 S. Clark St. Schiller Elementary (consolidation) at 3:00 p.m.; Medill Elementary (consolidation) at 5:30; Lathrop Elementary (phase out) at 8:00 p.m.

February 3, 2009 (Tuesday). Ren 2010 hearings continue at 125 S. Clark St. Hamilton Elementary (phase out) at 3:00 p.m. That’s right. The Board lists only Hamilton for Tuesday February 3.

February 4, 2009 (Wednesday). Ren 2010 hearings continue at 125 S. Clark St. Best Practices High School (phase out) at 3:00 p.m.; Reed Elementary (phase out) at 5:30.

February 5, 2009 (Thursday) TURNAROUND HEARINGS BEGIN. Ren 2010 hearings continue at 125 S. Clark St. Dulles Elementary (TURNAROUND) at 3:00 p.m.

February 6, 2009 (Friday) TURNAROUND HEARINGS CONTINUE. Ren 2010 hearings continue at 125 S. Clark St. Johnson Elementary (TURNAROUND) at 3:00 p.m.; Bethune Elementary (TURNAROUND) at 5:30 p.m.

February 7, 2009. (Saturday). Ren 2010 hearings continue at 125 S. Clark St. Global Visions (a small school inside Bowen High School (consolidation) at 9:00 a.m.

"Community hearing" on Nia and Foundations (closing) at "Cregier" (2040 W. Adams) AT 9:00 a.m.

"Community hearing" on Princeton (closing) at Tonti Elementary (5815 S. Homan) At 11:30 a.m.

February 9, 2009 (Monday) TURNAROUND HEARINGS CONTINUE. Ren 2010 hearings continue at 125 S. Clark St. Holmes Elementary (TURNAROUND) at 3:00 p.m.
"Community hearing" on Peabody Elementary (closing) 7:30 p.m. at Lozano Elementary, 1424 N. Cleaver.

February 10, 2009 (Tuesday) TURNAROUND HEARINGS CONTINUE. Ren 2010 hearings continue at 125 S. Clark St. Yale Elementary (TURNAROUND) at 3:00 p.m. Fenger High School (TURNAROUND) at 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 11, "Community hearing" on South Chicago Elementary (closing) at Russell Square Park. 5:00 p.m.

A number of schools have said they will protest the 3:00 starting time for the hearings, since most teachers and parents are working at that time and are therefore unable to attend the hearings. Parents, teachers and students have also questioned the refusal of the Board of Education to hold its monthly meetings in Chicago public schools across the city. Since May 2002, the Board has met downtown in the heavily fortified headquarters at 125 S. Clark St. The price of parking alone prohibits many working families from attending the meetings, while the time of the meetings (beginning at 10:30 a.m. on a Wednesday every month) virtually bars all teachers and other school workers from full participation in the Board's deliberations.

February 18, 2009. Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates meeting, Plumbers Hall, 1340 W. Washington, 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.. New House of Delegates to be seated.

February 25, 2009. Chicago Board of Education meeting, 125 S. Clark St. The Board will vote on school reorganizations, turnarounds, and closings at this time. On February 27, 2008, more than 2,000 people protested the 2008 attacks on the schools -- including the reconstitution (called "turnaround") or Harper High School and Orr High School -- outside the Board of Education and in the lobby, but the majority of people who had come downtown to attend the meeting were barred from the building by armed Chicago police officers (see the March 2008 Substance). An even larger group of people, organized by GEM, CORE, the Chicago Teachers Union and others -- is expected to protest against the actions of the Board at its February 25, 2009 meeting. Information about the various groups organizing to protest the privatization of Chicago's public schools is available on the groups' Websites, including: COREteachers.org; PUREparents.org; and CSDU.com.



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