Chicago Public Schools Legislation on Facility ReformFebruary 23, 2018

 House Bill 0572- Chicago Public Schools Facility Reform

 House Bill 0572 Amends the Chicago School District Article of the School Code to improve Facility planning and actions.

Adds to the definition of “school action” to include new school openings incorporating Charter Schools and Turnarounds. This ensures that school communities have advanced notice of any school actions similar to the December 1st deadline for other CPS schools, allowing for families that may be impacted know before school admission deadlines pass.  

Requires the 10-year educational facility master plan to include specific plans for special education programs, early childhood education programs, career and technical education programs, and any other programs that are space sensitive to avoid space irregularities. This ensures long term planning should incorporate as much data and information to support schools in the best planning for academic success.

Requires public input with a capital improvement hearing that shall discuss the district’s annual capital budget to increase community engagement and transparency around Capital spending for the district that includes information on what capital dollars are being used and which projects and the need for those projects with a timeline to address critical facility and programmatic capital needs of every district building.

Adds to the requirements of a school transition plan when school actions do take place for the district to track students and evaluate where resources should go based on students’ performance after school actions.

A communications and community involvement plan for each community that includes engagement of students, school-based personnel, parents, and key stakeholders throughout the community for more community input in the long term planning for school communities avoiding facility decisions that can negatively impact students.

Any school building disposition should include advanced planning to prevent vacant schools through advanced planning of potential school vacancies.

Work with school communities experiencing under enrollment that includes joint use for space, attendance boundaries to maximize enrollment of additional students, cease plans that will impact enrollment when not necessary.