Chicago Republican Party proposes vouchers, parent takeover of closing public schools

Today the Chicago Republican Party proposed letting parents take over closing Chicago public schools, and giving vouchers to kids who are displaced by the closings.

Under the "takeover plan" parents may submit proposals for taking over a closing school and turning it into a charter school. The process would be similar to the existing process for creating new charter schools.

If a school is not taken over, then the children should receive vouchers to attend any school, public or private, of their choice.

"Parents should be given a choice. If CPS can't turn a school around, then let the parents take over. If enough parents step up to the plate, they should be given a chance to keep their neighborhood school open," said Chris Cleveland, spokesman for the Chicago GOP.

Similar plans exist in several states. Seven states have "parent trigger" laws that allow parents to take neighborhood schools private. Parent trigger laws are under consideration in several more states.

In 2010 the New York Times reported that "Mayor Rahm Emanuel has promised to introduce similar regulations in Chicago if he wins his bid for mayor there. "

The Chicago GOP calls on the Mayor to follow through on his promise and let the parents have a say in their children's education.

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