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100 New Public Schools by 2010

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jun 23, 2004 5:31PM

The Chicago Public School system will release a plan tomorrow to create 100 new schools by 2010; the schools will be more progressive and innovative than current establishments. Out of these 100, most won't be brand new buildings—CPS will be dividing up larger schools into smaller programs. The plan calls for 30 new schools on the South Side, 20-30 on the West Side, and the rest in other dense neighborhoods.

The new schools on the West and South Sides, most of which are to be housed in existing buildings, will be opened in connection with the Chicago Housing Authority's plan to transform those neighborhoods.

Up to 20 high schools will become 40 to 60 small schools.

Much like Dodge and Williams, two elementary schools that were shut down in 2002 and reopened last year as "Renaissance schools," the strategy intends to bring new life to old schoolhouses by freeing them from traditional methods.

The new schools will be roughly one-third charter schools, one-third contract schools--in which the school district contracts with an outside entity to operate a school--and one-third run by the school district.

The plan is called "Renaissance 2010," and while it seems to have a lot of public support, the president-elect of the Chicago Teachers Union would not tell the Trib what she thought the ramifications of the program would be. Charter schools and privately contracted schools can and often do employ non-union teachers.

The full details of the plan will be announced tomorrow.