On May 22, the Chicago Board of Education in the US state of Illinois voted to close 50 public schools including about 10 percent of all elementary schools, and to transfer thousands of children to new classroom settings.
Officials said Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s sweeping school reforms may help save the district USD 867 million over the next 10 years.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and other advocates criticized the move, saying school closures in the United States are synonymous with an increase in the dropout rate and the incidence of street violence.
This is while, the Philadelphia school system in the US State of Pennsylvania has announced it will lay off 3,783 employees including 676 teachers, 283 counselors, 127 assistant principals and 1,202 aides starting on July 1.
Over the past decade, at least 70 cities in the US have closed down public schools, averaging 11 per district, according to the National Education Association.
A major city in the US State of Illinois has decided to fire nearly 850 school employees from a public school system plagued with a substantial budget deficit.
About 550 teachers from public schools that are closing and struggling academically throughout the US city of Chicago, along with teacher assistants, bus aides, custodians and others were issued layoff notices on Friday, officials said.
The job cuts were announced just moments after city officials said they were eliminating almost 100 central office positions and adopting more efficient building maintenance procedures in a bid to help close an estimated USD 1 billion deficit in the coming fiscal year.