CPS: Concept charter operator won't open Chatham campus in fall

Tribune reporter
Concept charter operator's Chatham campus won't open in fall

Chicago Public Schools officials announced Thursday that the beleaguered Concept charter school operator will not be opening its Chatham campus this fall.

A district source said the delay has nothing to do with an FBI investigation into Concept Schools use of federal grant money.

The initial location was dropped after news of the FBI investigation. Concept then made plans to open at 9130 S. Vincennes Ave.

Slightly more than 400 children were enrolled in the school, and the district is calling those families today to make sure they get a spot at another school

Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett said today that the district is not allowing the campus to open for the fall because the facility is not ready. Officials said a lease had not been signed and all indications show the building work would not be completed by first day of school Sept. 2.

 Byrd-Bennett said a lot of other charter schools have stepped forward to offer spots for the kids.

 She stressed this was a "delay" and not a cancellation of the charter approval for Concept.

"This is unusual but unavoidable at this point," she said.

 She said the decision was made simply for "the fact that the facility is not ready."


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