CPS hosts public hearing on proposed closure of Garvey - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

CPS hosts public hearing on proposed closure of Garvey Elementary

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Four bus loads carried unlikely passengers of parents and teachers to Chicago Public Schools' central office to attend a two-hour public hearing on the proposed closure of Marcus Garvey Elementary School.

SEE: Chicago high school students skip PSAE protest, CPS closures

One teacher says her main concern about the school closings and students' relocating is the gangs.

"We're right there on the border of a gang and that worries me because the bullets are not going to stop," Dr. Elizabeth says.

The far south side school is just one of more than 50 elementary schools scheduled to close after this school year.

CPS says the proposed closures affect schools that are underutilized, under-enrolled or low performing.

April Weathers' son attends Garvey.

"They're still 81 percent meeting or exceeding in the ISAT," says Weathers. "They're still high performing so it's disappointing for me to see us going through this."

The plan to close Garvey has sparked anger among Weathers and others.

"I'm enraged," Weathers continues. "I'm hurt, disappointed angry, all of the negative emotions that you can have."

"The receiving school, everything about them is worse than where we are, so consequently I'm not happy about that," says parent Garnett Collins.

The Wednesday night hearing is the culmination of a day full of protests at CPS. Dozens of 11th grade students lined the sidewalk of CPS' central office after walking out of school on the second day of mandatory standardized testing, required to graduate.

"I just felt like it was time to stand up for what is right," says student Alberto Brio. "I understand yesterday's required test that we have to take in our state, but obviously we can make a bigger impact."

The boycott of the standardized Prairie State Achievement Exam is yet another protest of the city's proposed school closings.

In response, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett released a statement saying, "The only place that students should be during the school day is in the classroom with their teachers getting the education they need to be successful in life."

At Wednesday night's public hearing, 24-year-old Garvey graduate Brandi Clark will speak first.

"Basically I want to talk about the education I received at Marcus Garvey and how it prepared me for my life," Clark says.

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