HYDE PARK — Chicago Public Schools on Friday abruptly delayed the last public hearing on the shuttered Dyett High School, not telling any of the groups fighting for a chance to reopen the school.
On Friday, CPS rescheduled Monday's hearings for the three proposals to reopen Dyett until Sept. 15 and delayed indefinitely a final decision by the Chicago Board of Education.
“We continue to review the applications by the 2014 [request for proposals], but with the budget and financial crisis dominating the focus of the new CPS administration, more time is necessary to make an informed recommendation to the Board of Education,” said Forrest Claypool, new CEO of CPS.
All three school options vying for a chance to determine the future of Dyett, 555 E. 51st St., said they found out from the CPS news release issued late Friday that they would not be pitching their plan on Monday.
In June, CPS laid out a timeline that would finish up public hearings on proposals for the Little Black Pearl School of the Arts, Dyett Global Leadership and Green Technology High School and Washington Park Athletic Career Academy on Monday with a final decision by the board on Aug. 26.
On Friday, CPS said it instead needed that time to work on the 2016 budget and to get new board members up to speed.
“I don’t care if they are new, they can read,” said Jitu Brown, who was to present the Global Leadership and Green Technology school proposal Monday. “They could make a qualified decision by Aug. 26.”
He said the delay and the lack of communication was disrespectful to all the proposals and a process that has already taken three years to complete since it was announced in 2012 the school would close in 2015.
The coalition of educators, community groups and parents behind the proposal planned a rally at CPS Headquarters on Monday, calling on CPS to stop delaying a decision on Dyett.
“It doesn’t change anything on end as far as our proposal,” said Zakeya Cartman of the Little Black Pearl Workshop.
She said the leadership changes at CPS would not change the substance of the group’s proposal for an arts-based contract school.
“I think it’s still the same for everyone,” said Charles Campbell of Washington Park Athletic Career Academy Design Team.
He said it makes sense that the new members would want time to review the proposals, including his for a sports and business based contract school.
The last public hearing is now scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 15 inside the Board of Education Chambers at 42 W. Madison St.
A CPS spokeswoman was not immediately able to say when the board would make a final decision.
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