Loyola University Chicago’s Education Law and Policy Institute and the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law have partnered to conduct an independent monitoring project for two days at Chicago Public Schools when classes resume on Monday, August 26.
Approximately 50 volunteer project monitors, including law students, lawyers, and other professionals, will be assigned to schools that are expecting new students displaced by the recent CPS closings. The decision to shut down 50 schools earlier this year made national headlines for being the largest single set of public school closings in American history. The goal of the independent monitoring project is to assist the families of children who will be transitioning to a new school this fall and to ensure that children’s rights to a high quality education are preserved during that process.
“Our intention is to lend our legal expertise to assist in identifying issues early so they might be resolved,” wrote members of the monitoring project in a letter to Barbara Byrd-Bennett, chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools, late last week.
Monitors will work in brief shifts at CPS on Monday and Tuesday next week to welcome parents and students, as well as distribute “know your rights” materials and provide legal referrals as needed. Teams of project monitors are expected to visit about half of the 53 welcoming schools on the first two days of classes.