Why Chicago can’t afford to demolish another school

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For the last few days I’ve been getting calls from north-siders wanting to know if they missed something while they were out of town on summer vacation.

Specifically, they’re wondering if Mayor Rahm Emanuel is closing even more schools.

That’s because they’ve been seeing signs around Ravenswood and Edgewater saying “save trumbull.”

So let me assure you, Chicago: the mayor’s not up to his old school-closing tricks. Remember, this is actually his liberal phase, as he heads into the reelection season determined to show us that he’s the second coming of Eleanor Roosevelt. If this keeps up, he’ll start wearing a dress.

Besides, he can’t close Trumbull because he already closed it. And even Mayor Emanuel hasn’t figured out a way to close the same school twice.

The people putting up those signs are actually worried that he’ll allow the Trumbull building to be demolished. That is, he’ll sell the land to someone who will tear down the school and build, say, more condos, which north-side developers can’t get enough of.

But first things first. The mayor closed Trumbull last year because—well, there’s a difference of opinion about why he closed it.

The mayor said its enrollment had declined to the point where we couldn’t afford to keep it open.

Trumbull’s leaders said CPS had failed to take into consideration the crucial role the school played in special education.


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