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Parents sit-in at Saucedo Academy over school crowding

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Frustrated parents and teachers protested consolidation of Spry Community Links High School into the Saucedo-Telpochcalli school building. (WLS)

An overnight sit-in at a Little Village magnet school ended after four and a half hours. Frustrated parents, teachers and community members protested consolidation of Spry Community Links High School into the Saucedo-Telpochcalli school building.

The building already houses Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy and Telpochcalli School.

"Saucedo is at 87 percent, Telpochcalli is at 99 percent," says Vicky Lugo, a member of the community. "So there is no space whatsoever for any additional students to come."

"The classrooms are already 30-kids-plus, the lunchrooms are extremely crowded," says Alicia Castillo, whose child goes to the school.

The protesters are also frustrated with the feeling that there is lack of community input. One special education eacher says they didn't even know Chicago Public Schools wanted to consolidate until a letter went home to parents on Dec. 1, 2015.

"They're saying they want to do this save $90,000. $90,000," says Sarah Chambers, a special education teacher at Saucedo Academy. "You could cut one network chief, one person in the central office and make double that."

CPS says it currently has to pay to lease a nearby Boys and Girls Club for the High School.

"They rent out charter schools for one dollar to rent a building," Chambers counters. "Why can't they do that for Spry as well?"

Two CPS representatives agreed to take the group's demands to the CEO of CPS and the Board of Education. The protesters are hoping they can stall consolidation at least one year until the entire community can come up with a plane to solve the budget shortfall.

"If we had the space maybe then it would work, but right now some of our teachers are working in fire escapes," says Catia Arroyo, a Telpochcalli student.

A response from CPS is expected Monday. A hearing and Board of Education meeting will be held Wednesday.


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educationprotestpublic schoolcpsChicago - Little Village
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