The Crusader Newspaper Group

CPS could end school year June 1 if state doesn’t pay up

By Joe Vince,

Lawyers for Chicago Public Schools asked Monday for a Cook County judge to rule quickly in the district’s favor in its lawsuit against the State of Illinois that claims the state education funding system is discrminatory and violates the Illinois Civil Rights Act, according to CPS CEO Forrest Claypool.

If the case isn’t resolved swiftly and the state doesn’t come through with funding for the school system, CPS might be forced to end classes this year on June 1 instead of June 20, dropping 13 days from the school calendar, Claypool said in a statement.

“These possibilities are deeply painful to every school community, and include the possibility of ending the school year on June 1 and eliminating summer school for elementary students, except special education students,” he stated. “We will continue to do everything in our power to avoid this possibility, including working with leaders in Springfield and pushing our lawsuit forward as quickly as possible.”

CPS filed its lawsuit against the state on behalf of five district families Feb. 14. The lawsuit accuses the state of discriminating against Chicago students by funding city schools at decreased rates compared to their counterparts around the state.

According to the suit, the state uses “two separate and demonstrably unequal systems for funding public education”: one that applies to Chicago public schools, which have student populations that are primarily children of color, and one that applies to schools in the rest of Illinois, which have student populations that are primarily white.


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