Schoolhouse Beat

Panel says Chicago could close up to 80 schools

The Chicago school district could safely close or overhaul as many as 80 schools this year, according to the final report of a commission that just two months ago voiced misgivings about the district's ability to close a large number of schools. The Chicago Tribune reports that the panel's recommendation — though filled with caveats — provides the school system with support as it comes up with a final list of school closings by the end of the month. The Commission on School Utilization noted in its interim report in January that the district had never shuttered more than a dozen schools in a single year and questioned whether closing many times that number was feasible. But the advisory panel's chairman says he is satisfied that the district has made the changes needed to ensure a smooth transition for students forced to move to a new school.

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