CHICAGO – After the announcement of Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) decision to close all public neighborhood high schools in the West Englewood and Englewood neighborhoods, legislation introduced by state Rep. Sonya M. Harper, D-Chicago, to reform the CPS school action process successfully passed out of committee and will advance to a vote by the full House.

“I have listened to my constituents and it is clear that CPS should do a much better job protecting our students and families,” said Harper. “This bill is designed to have district leadership work with schools that have low enrollment instead of waiting until it is too late and then closing them with no prior notice.”

House Bill 5721 was approved today with a vote of 7 to 1 by the Elementary & Secondary Education: Licensing, Administration & Oversight Committee. It would require more long term planning, community input and district collaboration to prevent massive educational disturbances such as school closings that leave vacant schools in economically insecure communities across the Chicago.

“This legislation also addresses practices that have inequitably impacted community schools like CPS approving to open new charter school openings in communities that are already struggling with enrollment therefore further stressing limited resources,” said Harper. “We also need to be advocating for reforms like an elected school board so South Side voices can be heard and equally represented.”

Harper represents the 6th District, which includes all or portions of Armour Square, Bridgeport, Chicago Lawn, Englewood, Gage Park, Back of the Yards, Canaryville, New City, West Englewood and Marquette Park.

Rep Sonya HarperRep Sonya Harper

6th District

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Springfield Office:
276-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-5971
(217) 558-6370 FAX

District Office:
4926 South Ashland
Chicago, IL  60609
(773) 925-6580
(773) 925-6584 FAX