Chicago Public Schools said Tuesday that 102 schools will require reinspection for cleanliness before students return to class in the fall. The district has been conducting “blitz inspections” at schools to help address widespread concerns about filthy conditions, including rats and rodent droppings.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier in the year that complaints of a rodent infestation at a South Side elementary school had spurred an initial round of investigations, and that 91 of 125 schools failed them. The story brought citywide attention to the issue and raised questions about CPS’ decision to transition the work of keeping schools clean to two private contractors: Aramark, which is based in Philadelphia, and SodexoMAGIC, which is a joint venture between the French company Sodexo Inc. and Beverly Hills, California,-based Magic Johnson Enterprises.
Since 2014, the district has spent more than $400 million on contracts with the two companies.
CPS said in a statement Tuesday that it is “committed to carrying out a multi-pronged plan” that includes adding 200 additional custodians who are deep cleaning schools this summer. Of those, 100 custodians will remain with the district once the new school year begins. A district spokeswoman said monthly inspections will continue and that a “stronger facilities services structure” that employs one building manager to oversee janitorial and engineering services at each school will yield better results.
Jesse Sharkey, the vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, said that the additional custodians do little to make up for the mess. “(Mayor Rahm) Emanuel made a token commitment to increase full-time custodial staff by 100 next fall—about a tenth of the staff that was cut when (he) moved to privatize janitorial and facilities management services for CPS, and a fraction of what’s needed,” Sharkey said in a statement.
Schools that have not yet passed an inspection have received orders for actions, structures, and timelines for improvement, the district said. CPS does not inspect charter, contract, alternative, or options schools that operate outside of district-managed facilities.
Here’s a list of the schools that require reinspection.
|CHICAGO AGRICULTURE HS|
|LANE TECH HS|
|MORGAN PARK HS|
|NOBLE – COMER|
|NORTHSIDE LEARNING HS|
|NORTHSIDE PREP HS|
|RICKOVER MILITARY HS|
|SOUTH SHORE ES|
|SOUTH SHORE INTL HS|
|URBAN PREP – WEST HS|
|WASHINGTON H ES|