Chicago to hire 600 for school Safe Passage routes - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

CPS to hire 600 for Chicago school Safe Passage routes

Posted: Updated:
Jadine Chou. Jadine Chou.
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

While the school year is winding down for Chicago Public Schools students, police and other city departments are preparing Safe Passage routes for the fall.

The school board voted in May to close 49 elementary schools at the end of this school year. Parents voiced concerns about children walking unfamiliar pathways through unsafe neighborhoods.

The school closures have sparked protests and lawsuits from opponents who say they disproportionately affect minority neighborhoods and will endanger children who may have to cross gang boundaries to get to a new school.

A published report says the city of Chicago has received 11,000 requests for help getting children to school along safe-passage routes.

About 600 adults will be hired in July to work along the routes, which are being established to make sure students from closed schools can get to their new schools safely.

Jadine Chou is officer of safety and security for Chicago Public Schools.

"$7.7 million will cover 600 workers working with police. They are from the community," Chou said. "They have relationships with areas they serve."

She said parents at more than 40 schools receiving students from closed schools have had a chance to see the proposed safe routes and have given their input.

City officials also said they are securing vacant buildings and fixing street lamps on routes designated as safe passage zones.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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