Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Says Brutal Chicago School Closings Necessary

*(Via ABC News) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel responded Saturday to widespread criticism of his plan to close 54 Chicago Public Schools, saying he wasn’t interested in doing what was politically easy and that the pain of the closings doesn’t compare to the anguish of “trapping” kids in failing schools.

“If we don’t make these changes, we haven’t lived up to our responsibility as adults to the children of the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said in his first public statements since Thursday’s announcement. “And I did not run for office to shirk my responsibility.”

Emanuel was out of town when his schools chief, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, announced the closings. It is the largest number of CPS schools to be shuttered in a single year, and officials say it will affect some 30,000 students in the nation’s third-largest school district.

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