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Senn High School Official Writes Open Letter in Protest of Budget Cuts

 Senn High School will lose $470,000 in its budget for next school year, but all 80 staff positions have been kept. (File Photo)
Senn High School will lose $470,000 in its budget for next school year, but all 80 staff positions have been kept. (File Photo)
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DNAinfo/Darryl Holliday

EDGEWATER — Senn High School Local School Council member Dan Kleinman, who was the lone dissenter in the council's vote to approve a $470,000 budget cut last week at Senn, penned an open letter explaining his decision.

Kleinman said that although the cuts wouldn't require layoffs, he worried that the budget for the years after would mean lost jobs and eventually more school closures.

Across the city, schools have had to lay off teachers, increase class size and ax entire programs to balance next year's budgets.

Nearby Gale Academy, for example, had to dump its only art teacher after being slammed with a $448,000 cut.

"Senn did not have as large a budget cut this year as many other neighborhood schools across Chicago," Kleinman wrote, "but that was this year, and I am concerned about next year, and the year after that. My job and responsibility is the future of this great school."

In an interview Wednesday, the 25-year-old said the Chicago Public Schools are continuing a trend of working more with less.

He said that in coming years high schools, like Senn, could be targeted as "underutilized" and be closed down, like the 48 "underutilized" elementary schools closed this year.

"The trend needs to end," he said, "before there is little left."