Judge rules to halt CPS efforts to close National Teachers Academy

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Judge expected to make ruling in closing of National Teachers Academy
CPS has plans to transition the National Teachers Academy, located at 55 W. Cermak Rd., into a high school, starting in the fall.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Cook County judge granted an injunction Monday that halts Chicago Public Schools' transition to close the National Teachers Academy elementary school.

CPS had planned to transition the National Teachers Academy into a high school, starting in the fall. The school is located at 55 W. Cermak Rd. in the South Loop neighborhood.

The neighborhood school serves mostly low-income minority students in the South Loop, Bronzeville, Chinatown and Bridgeport neighborhoods.

On Friday, Chance the Rapper wrote an opinion column in the Chicago Sun-Times urging CPS to do the right thing and keep the high-performing school open.

Four NTA families filed a lawsuit earlier this year to stop CPS plans.

"This is a huge victory for NTA and for other top-performing black schools like ours," said parent Elisabeth Greeer, a plaintiff.

The judge also denied a CPS motion to dismiss the lawsuit

"CPS is fully committed to providing students in the Near South community with a high quality neighborhood high school, and that will continue to be a top priority. While we strongly disagree with today's ruling, we believe appealing today's decision could create greater long-term uncertainty for students and we will not move forward with an appeal," CPS said in a statement.

Last month, NTA earned a Level 1+ ranking, the highest ranking that a CPS school can earn.

In a statement, Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd Ward) said that she disagreed with the judge's decision, but hoped to solve the problem of bringing a neighborhood high school to the South Loop.

"Change is always difficult, however in the long term, opening a high school in the South Loop is what is best for the community. With today's court decision I remain committed to this goal and ask that CPS quickly find a viable alternate location for a neighborhood high school," Dowell said.