CPS says it’s not closing deaf program, contrary to union claim

Chicago Public Schools mentioned there have been some very preliminary discussions earlier this spring about probably closing the deaf and laborious of listening to programming at Chase Elementary School, however now there aren’t any plans to shut or part out this instruction. The feedback got here because the Chicago Teachers Union rallied Thursday morning to protect these school rooms.

“Chicago Public Schools is planning to close this program through the means of phasing it out. We’re hearing very confusing and conflicting information about that right now,” CTU President Jesse Sharkey mentioned in a information convention outdoors Chase.

“Last night at 10 o’clock, the union got a phone call from the head of Chicago Public Schools labor relations, to say, ‘No, no, it’s not true that we’re closing the program. We’re just not accepting new students into the program.’ That is closing the program.”

CPS mentioned there are 36 programs that serve deaf and laborious of listening to college students districtwide, together with 4 at Chase. Teacher Colleen McKenna mentioned the 29 Chase college students are both in one in all 4 devoted school rooms or “fully integrated” into the overall schooling school rooms on the Palmer Square faculty.

Chase’s deaf and laborious of listening to programming — which serves main, intermediate and upper-level college students — started in 2015. CPS mentioned the packages are funded by way of its central office.

The claim that Chase’s deaf and laborious of listening to programming was in jeopardy was raised finally month’s Chicago Board of Education meeting. CPS CEO Pedro Martinez mentioned he would analysis the problem and get again to the board.

A CPS consultant mentioned in a press release that officers with the Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services reached out to Chase Elementary School on May 25, the day of the board meeting, and “assured the school’s administration that the (deaf and hard of hearing) program is not in danger of closing. That message has been reiterated in recent days.”

CTU mentioned it initially heard the programming was on the chopping block due to difficulties transporting the scholars and wishes elsewhere within the metropolis. CPS has been experiencing transportation woes for many of the faculty year due to a nationwide scarcity of bus drivers.

In its assertion, CPS mentioned: “The district has not closed and is not planning to close any (deaf and hard of hearing) program. CPS is investing $68 million more in funding to advance equity and meet the needs of diverse learners across the district in the proposed FY2023 budget. This includes $62 million more for teacher and paraprofessional positions and $6 million more for additional case manager positions.”

Parent Tanisha Ward mentioned if any cuts have been to occur, it could be heartbreaking.

“This school, this staff have developed our children in more than one way,” Ward mentioned. “My son came from a regular school that didn’t support his hearing loss, so he fell behind tremendously. He came (to) Chase, and they got him on level.”

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