To: David Vitale, CPS Board President, Mayor Emanuel, The Illinois State House, The Illinois State Senate, and Governor J.B. Pritzker

Say No to 36 and Mass School Closings

Remember three years ago when parents had to rally against CPS' threat to increase class size limits to 37 with the No to 37 campaign? History is poised to repeat itself. CPS issued a space utilization formula for all CPS schools designating 36 students per homeroom as acceptable and as part of a "well-utilized" and efficient building.

CPS has stated plans to close a historic number of schools, forcing displaced students from 50+ schools to transfer to "welcoming" schools. With this policy, CPS is effectively saying that 36 kids in a classroom is acceptable and that principals must choose between having rooms for things like music, special education, tutoring, arts, etc., or reasonable class sizes.

A policy that allows classrooms containing three dozen children is simply unacceptable and does not best serve the needs of Chicago students. As we did with No to 37, we need to speak out together and say No to 36!

Your child's school may have avoided being on the closure list or on the receiver school list, but with a 36 student allowed per classroom limit now in place, every school in CPS could be seeing these numbers at some point. Every child could be just a face in the crowd.

Raise Your Hand challenges the current CPS space utilization policy that allows for 36 kids per room. Note other large cities and their average class sizes:

* Average Class Sizes Compared
State of Illinois: 21(K); 23 (5th)
National (public): 23.6
National (private): 19.4
New York City : 23.7
Boston: 22 K1-k2; 25 (3rd-5th); 28 (6th-8th).
Los Angeles: 25 (K-3)
Atlanta (Fayette): 20(K);21(1st);23(2nd/3rd); 26(4th/5th);26-28(6th-8th)

Note: Boston limits increased to these levels in 2012 to close budget gaps. Atlanta set these new higher levels in 2012-13 school year.

Why is this important?

CPS has implemented a policy this year that allows for 36 kids in a classroom. The mass school closings that they are proposing will lead to overcrowding and high class sizes for thousands of Chicago students. Say no to 36.

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