“Given Canter’s population trends and long-term performance I do not oppose the closing of Canter School,” Burns said in a statement.
Burns was silent on the fate of the middle school at 4959 S. Blackstone Ave. until Wednesday morning, but on April 1 he had joined a group of 10 aldermen in saying the Chicago Public Schools dire financial outlook necessitated some school closings.
CPS "now faces a $1 billion budget deficit,” Burns said. “Additionally, CPS confronts these budgetary constraints at a time where both the federal and state government have reduced funding for public schools, and the short-term forecast for additional federal and state funding for public schools is extraordinarily bleak.”
Burns for the first time Wednesday said Canter should not be excluded from that list of schools to be closed, but advocated slowly phasing out the school.
“I do believe and have strongly encouraged CPS to phase Canter out over time so that the seventh-graders have the option to complete their eighth-grade year at the school,” Burns said. “The phase out will also provide additional time for planning the return of seventh and eighth grades at the receiving schools.”
Burns did not immediately return calls on whether he would testify at the final hearing on Canter at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the CPS Central Office 125 S. Clark St.