A watered-down version of a House bill calling for a one-year moratorium of school closings and transformations in Chicago Public Schools passed yesterday with a unanimous 118-0 vote. Championed by Rep. Cynthia Soto and numerous Chicago-area educators, parents and organizations, the Chicago School Facilities bill, better known as House Bill 363, will move on to the State Senate...For some the bill's passing is a huge victory in the on-going battle against Renaissance 2010, an initiative started by Major Daley in 2004 to increase the number of high-quality schools in Chicago by 2010 through a process of turn-arounds, closings and phase outs.
Soto had to remove some of the stronger components of the bill to get it passed, including a one-year moratorium on school closings that would have voided the school board's February 25 decision to close 16 schools. Valencia Rias, a spokeswoman for Designs for Change, said in a February press release they would fight to reintroduce those protections in the Senate.
Many protest the initiative's tactics, claiming it displaces children without fairly evaluating the school. (Chicagoist)Also see: PURE Catalyst Chicago Public Radio Community Media Workshop