Chicago schools CEO has 'right-sizing' plan

CHICAGO – Chicago Teachers Union leaders want a moratorium on school closures to start this year – not next fall as proposed by the new CEO of the city's public school system.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said Monday she's willing to commit to a five-year moratorium on school closures starting in the fall – if the district can first "right-size" its classroom space, which now has about 100,000 excess seats.

Byrd-Bennett says the plan depends on Illinois lawmakers allowing an extension on a deadline for announcing school actions from Dec. 1 to Mar. 31.

Teachers union President Karen Lewis says a moratorium after a round of school closures is "nothing more than a sleight of hand."

The union also opposes extending the deadline for announcing school actions.

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