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posted: 7/8/2013 5:00 AM

Decisions of past led to school closings

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It seems that the people who are the most vocal about the city of Chicago closing schools are the same people whose parents were vocal about their children going to school in portable classrooms (trailers). Logic tells us that during the years that the baby boom children were in school there would be a shortage of classroom space. Couple that with the city's shrinking population and one has to expect the closing of schools.

Had then-Mayor Richard M. Daley not caved to the pressure of that vocal minority, and to the demands of the labor unions of the city, to use funds obtained from other cash-strapped entities, the state of Illinois and the federal government to build more schools, the portable classrooms would have been temporarily used and staffed with teachers who were aware that those teaching positions were temporary. The problem of a glut of classrooms would not exist, at least not to the extent that it does now.

Part two of this message questions how the school closings, except for the teacher's salaries, save an appreciable amount of money. It seems that unless the closed schools are sold or rented there will still be a sizable expenditure maintaining those buildings, or are they to be abandoned and become blight on their neighborhoods much like the other abandoned buildings around the city? That possibility shifts the cost of those closings from the CPS to the city, the same entity.

David Lackowski Wheeling

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