On May 22, 2013, Chicago’s appointed Board of Education voted to close 50 schools, turn around five others and co-locate 17 elementary schools, affecting roughly 40,000 students. The action brought the total number of neighborhood schools closed in predominantly low-income African American and Latino neighborhoods since 2001 to more than 150.
Drawing on in-depth interviews with a sample of parents from the west, south and near west sides of Chicago, as well as testimony at public hearings and publicly available data, this study examines the effects of school closings from the point of view of parents. The study focuses on effects of school closings on children’s academic performance, social and emotional well-being and safety and the impact on their families and communities, as well as parent experiences with the process of school closings.
In addition, the study documents parents’ substantial contributions to the life of their schools, ways parents stepped in to mitigate the harm of the closings and parents’ vision of the education they want for their children.