The Chicago school system has targeted 61 school buildings for closing. The Chicago Tribune reports that the shutdowns would affect 30,000 students, almost all in grades K to 8 and most attending poorly performing schools in African-American neighborhoods on the South and West sides where enrollment has sagged in recent years. The district says it faces a projected deficit next year of $1 billion and is seeking to operate facilities more efficiently. But officials estimate that in the short term, school upgrades and enhanced security and other transition costs will add $233 million to expenses. Over the next decade, the district projects savings of $560 million from the closings.
RELATED: Read a Chicago Public Schools news release explaining the planned closings and other transitions.
MORE from Chicago Public Schools: The district's list of school closings, co-locations and turnarounds. (PDF file).