Chicago Board of Education Oks Removal of Police from Schools

Starting in the fall, Chicago police will only be allowed outside of school campuses.

Chicago Board of Education Oks Removal of Police from Schools

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CHICAGO – The Chicago Board of Education on Thursday unanimously voted to remove all school resource officers (SROs) and all Chicago police officers from the city’s public schools.

The change will take effect in August, at the start of the 2024-2025 school year, reports CBS News. Starting in the fall, Chicago police will only be allowed outside of school campuses.

Currently, 39 high schools in the district have 57 SROs in them, reports the Hyde Park Herald.

The move to completely cut the SRO program comes nearly four years after the murder of George Floyd, when the Chicago Board of Education narrowly approved keeping the program but reduced its budget by more than half, from $33 million to $15 million. The current budget to pay for police officers in Chicago public schools is $10.5 million.

Although Chicago chose to retain its SRO program back in 2020, many other districts across the country decided to eliminate their school police programs after the George Floyd tragedy, with many bringing officers back only a year or two later.

Despite the officers not being on K-12 campuses next year, they will still be present to supervise student arrivals and dismissals.

A new “holistic” plan for school safety that “addresses root causes and contributing factors” for disparities in student discipline will replace the SRO program, reports the Chicago Sun Times. The plans will be developed over the next few months.

In addition to cutting police officers on campuses, the board also voted to sever ties with Aramark – the janitorial company that was providing cleaning services to the district, reports WTTW. Instead it will work with seven other vendors to provide custodial services, some of which have already worked in Chicago’s schools. The vendors will report to new Chicago Public Schools (CPS) custodial managers.

The decision to remove Aramark was prompted by criticisms from members of SEIU Local 73, which represents nearly half of CPS custodians, reports the Chicago Sun Times. The transition to the new janitorial companies will take place in the 2024-2025 school year.

CPS has contracted with Aramark since 2014. In 2018, nearly 73% of the 125 schools that were inspected by the district failed. Inspectors found many of the campuses had dirty bathrooms, rodent dropping, and pest infestations, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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5 responses to “Chicago Board of Education Oks Removal of Police from Schools”

  1. Jesse Wilson says:

    Schools must train SRO officers, I do understand why some don’t because of all of the bad outline of police case

  2. Reginald Maurice Jackson says:

    I belive this is a mistake and these students and families will suffer from this. There should never be a price on protecting our kids. But politics is always push the narrative which has nothing to do with anything but money in there pockets.

  3. JD says:

    Another brilliant decision in a crime-ridden city. Makes perfect sense! Let’s see how this plays out…

  4. Z Campbell says:

    Removing SRO and police is a serious mistake. Chicago has one of the highest crime rates in the nation and needs more police, not less. The very real probability of physical violence against students and teachers will increase exponentially without these officers present.

  5. Andres Durbak says:

    When high schools without SROs face a problem they can’t handle, they’ll wait what will seem forever for a Beat Officer to arrive. I had the privilege to be the Commanding Officer of what was then the School Patrol Unit. Guns in Chicago Public Schools went from 100 in 1990 to 6 in 2008, and shootings in the vicinity of schools plubged as well. Ganagbangers throughout the City are having a nice chuckle, knowing that these high schools will become an extension of their therritory. Pity the victims who will suffer.

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