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White House On School Safety, No School Closure Savings? Ed Tonight

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No Closure Cash? A recent trend in urban education has been school closures. New York City recently made headlines for releasing a lengthly list of schools slated to be closed. Philadelphia has made similar news. And Chicago is now deciding which of its "underutilized" schools it will close. A similar thread between all these closures has been the argument that closing schools saves money. But a new study adds to the growing body of evidence that shows this may not actually be true.

According to the Washington Examiner, a new report from the DC Fiscal Policy Institute shows that closing 20 schools in the District -- as Chancellor Kaya Henderson has proposed -- "will save the school system barely more money than it was worth to close them" in the long run. Previous closures cost $30 million more than anticipated, a September audit showed.

School Safety? As we reported this morning, the White House has released a set of recommendations for curbing gun violence following the Newtown elementary school shooting. A major plank of these recommendations is school safety. The administration wants money to fund specially trained school cops, counselors, social workers, violence prevention and "school climate" programs.

Arne, Unmuzzled? After weeks of relative silence on the issue, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is speaking up on gun violence. "We will never fully understand why 20 first-graders and six educators were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School--or why still more students and educators lost their lives at Columbine, Chardon or Red Lake high schools, Westside Middle School, Virginia Tech or the many other campuses and communities in our country where guns have cut short dreams and created fear," he writes on HuffPost. "We can, however, take a number of common-sense steps to help prevent future tragedies."

Chicago's Substitute Problem? Even before a flu outbreak hobbled Chicago Public Schools, the city's principals were having a hard time finding substitute teachers, reports DNAinfo."There's a district-wide shortage of subs in Chicago Public Schools," Katie Konieczny, principal of Lincoln Park's Oscar Mayer Magnet School, said during a recent Local School Council meeting, DNAinfo writes. A CPS spokesperson said on an average day, 1,100 out of 30,000 CPS teachers are absent.

**Extra Credit:**
"Poopin' peacocks cause havoc at charter school." 'Nuff said.