To Sell or Not To Sell? That is the Question.

            During these past few years, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has seen a significant decline in students attending their schools.  This has lead to drastic action to “close 54 schools, which will leave 61 empty”. Closing the underperforming schools and filling other schools help cut costs and make it more efficient for the schools if they are full.  Yet, the problem is what to do with the schools that are closed and empty.          

             In a business, or operations management, the manager or CEO’s job is to find ways to efficiently use products or make the most profit, but most importantly, efficiently run the business.  This means not letting money go to waste.  CPS is trying to do that by not running a school that has low attendance.  It would be more money wasted to heat that school and pay taxes if no one is using it.  Yet, what CPS is trying to do is also sell the lot that these former schools are on in order to make money to pay for their other schools.  This is a great idea because these schools, instead of being empty, can be used as a safe haven for kids who need a place to go, or like a senior center.  This actually happened in Milwaukee.  A former school called Jackie Robinson Middle School was sold in September of last year and turned into a senior center called the Sherman Park Commons Senior Living Center.  This is a place where seniors 55 or older that have a low income can have a place to live. Seniors who can’t afford housing have found a place to live and the city of Milwaukee was able to convert an old school into a beautiful place for others.  Yet, there is a catch.

            First of all, before this former middle school was sold to a developer, it was vacant for five years. Also, the groups that buy the school are mainly “[c]harter schools, other government agencies and nonprofitswho can afford to pay the money to first buy the property and then renovate it.  Yet, most importantly, there is a process that the qualified buyers must go through before they can buy the property.  The buyers go through meetings to describe about the renovations of the former school and what it will become, but also a selling price must also be negotiated as well.

            It is good that CPS wants to fix up these schools to cancel their debts and create efficiency, but who is getting hurt is the kids.  They are losing their relationships with their friends and teachers because they are forced to go to new schools because their old schools are underperforming.  Also, they are also scared to ask questions because they are not used to this new school and their new teachers which could hurt their grades in the future.   


Should Chicago Public Schools close and sell their schools so that that building could be used for other purposes or should the schools stay open?

Nix, Naomi. “Schools Often a Hard Sell.” Chicago Tribune 21 Apr. 2013, Final ed., sec. 2: 1+. Print.

4 thoughts on “To Sell or Not To Sell? That is the Question.

  1. There are positives and negatives in this. Positives are that there will be more money to fund students who actually want to learn by attending school. Negatives would be that there may be students who want to learn in the current school that CPS wants to take down and sell. What will happen to them? Of course, I am assuming that there is that chance that there will be a student who wants to learn, but cannot get into a better school. Will CPS handle transfers or will they just leave the students hanging. This, once again, is assuming that CPS believes they should close down the school because students are not learning by not attending school.

  2. Without a doubt, I believe that closing and selling the vacant schools will be beneficial both for Chicago and its neighborhoods, as well as the kids in the long run. If there are not enough kids attending a school, then it is a complete waste of money, and therefore selling it would cancel debts and save that extra money for more important things for the community. Like this article suggested, the Chicago schools that are not used as efficiently can be sold and used for other purposes, just like it was in Milwaukee, and house homeless people, seniors, and people who have no where else to go. Also, big industries will probably love to buy the land and construct their own businesses, restaurants, hotels, etc. I honestly do not think kids are the ones suffering, because people move all the time, it is part of our lives to move and meet new people where ever we go. So kids losing their relationships with their friends and teachers because they have to move and go to a different school should not be the deciding factor if a school should continue to stay open or close and ultimately help the city and the surrounding community.

  3. I definitely agree that in the long run it will be beneficial for everyone for these schools to close. Although it’s true that the kids are probably really shy and not used to this change, moving them to a school where they will be surrounded by others who actually want to be in class can only positively affect them. Also, making better use of the schools by converting them to other businesses will help the community around them economically. In my opinion, while there are obviously some down sides, the choice to close the schools is the better of the two.

  4. If Chicago Public Schools keep going under-performing, the only way that CPS can do is close because it will be hard to management and operate further in the future. It may be difficult for students to get used to new school environment, but it is good idea to have other purpose instead of under-performing CPS.

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