Rush, Davis host congressional forum on public school closures

City-_Rush_Davis_forum_CPS_closures.jpgU.S. Reps. Bobby Rush, D-1st Dist., left, and Danny Davis, D-7th Dist., listened as parents, community residents, members of advocacy groups and others addressed the impact of the Chicago Public Schools plan to close 54 schools starting next school year. The congressmen held a forum at Quinn African Methodist Episcopal Church April 20, 2013. Defender/Worsom Robinson

The Chicago Public Schools’ announcement of 54 school closures continues to be met with public resistance. Almost all of the targeted schools are within either U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush’s 1st Congressional District or U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis’ 7th Congressional District. The two held a joint congressional forum April 20 to discuss the closures with the community.

Starting next school year, 54 schools that the school district deemed under used and lower performing have been recommended to close and the students transferred to other nearby higher-performing schools. Many of the welcoming schools are ones that also are under used, but are said to have better academic success.

Davis and Rush took part in a tour of previously closed schools and the communities surrounding them for an up close look at the impact. The tour, held earlier this month, was hosted by the Chicago Teachers Union.

Davis said then that he didn’t have a lot of information about the closures so the CTU tour and the congressional forum were was for him to “hear from the community.”

The forum was held at Quinn A.M.E. Church, 2401 S. Wabash. Parents, community residents, members of advocacy organizations and CTU President Karen Lewis attended the daylong forum.

Rush also expressed concern over the 17 schools proposed to close in his district. 

He questions closing so many schools in the district, overall, at one time.

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