Chicago Public Schools is moving ahead with plans to remove school resource officers from dozens of schools, despite more than 100 shootings near campuses in recent years.

The Chicago Board of Education is expected to vote to not renew its $10.3 million contract with the city’s police department for school resource officers ahead of the 2024-25 school year, a move backed by Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Chicago Teachers Union that helped put him in office.

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The plan, according to a resolution up for a vote Thursday, is to create a new policy that “codifies best practices for a holistic approach to school safety at every District school,” with trade-in funds schools can use for alternative strategies, like more social workers and restorative justice coordinators, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“Resources will be made available for local schools to decide how they want those funds distributed,” Johnson told the media earlier this month.

The Thursday resolution states the aim in developing the new approach to school safety should be to “address root causes and contributing factors” that are leading to disparities in school discipline, and to heal student traumas and address conflicts through restorative justice.

The new policy “must make explicit that the use of SROs within district schools will end by the start of the 2024-2025 school year,” according to the resolution, though district officials have vowed to maintain strong ties with the Chicago Police Department, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

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The move follows years of demands from the CTU and aligned activist groups to remove police from CPS schools that were sparked by racial justice protests in 2020, when the district’s contract with Chicago Police was roughly $33 million.

Former Mayor Lori Lightfoot allowed the district’s individual schools to vote on removal, resulting in the number of resource officers going from 166 assigned to 74 schools in 2012 to 57 in 39 schools this year, according to the Tribune.

About 40 school councils voted on whether to keep resource officers last spring, and only two opted to remove – with Austin College and Career Academy eliminating one of two, and Marshall High School removing both.

Rev. Henry McDavid, chairman of the Michelle Clark Magnet School council, explained to WLS-TV the benefits that convinced his council to keep its school resource officer.

“You have interactions with the kids and the resource officer, so they get to learn that not all cops, guys who wear badges, are not bad folks,” he said. “A lot of them are great folks, and they can come in and have conversation about things going on in the neighborhood.”

Many local school officials have urged the district to leave decisions on police in schools to the local councils, while some politically powerful parents are demanding to know how the district plans to keep kids safe without them.

“What do I tell parents when they call my office and they’re talking about their kids’ safety,” state Rep. Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar recently told the board for John F. Kennedy High School, where her daughter attends. “I need answers from you. You need to address the community. There is no communication from CPS in terms of all the fights that are occurring.”

Guerrero-Cuellar, a Democrat, noted the district wants the state to help cover its looming $400 million deficit, but is offering few details on how it’s protecting students.

“I’m willing to work with you as a legislator, but I have to answer to the community, just as you have to answer to the entire city of Chicago,” she said. “How are we going to keep these kids safe?”

Eben Credit, with the South Side NAACP, told WBBM “the reason why the local school council was put in place in the first place was to give each individual school community autonomy and a say in what goes on in their school.”

“We strongly request that they have that right, that autonomy, and the power to make that decision if they want resources officers in their school. It is vital, it is important, and we are concerned with the absence of them, tragic things will happen in our community,” Karl Brinson, president of the West Side Branch of the NAACP, told the news site. “So we ask the mayor and the Board of Education to leave this decision in the hand of our local LSCs.”

The vote Thursday comes just one day after Chicago police announced first-degree murder charges against two teens who allegedly gunned down 16-year-old Daveon Gibson two blocks from Senn High School, WLS-TV reports.

Senn High School does not have a resource officer.

The Jan. 31 shooting has pushed the number at or near city schools to more than 100 in the last five years, with bullets hitting at least 106 children and teens within a tenth of a mile of 90 different CPS schools or charter schools, according to Chicago police statistics cited by WLS-TV.

More broadly, statistics cited by the Illinois Policy Institute show a steady rise in school shootings nationwide over the last 15 years, going from 18 in 2008 to 82 last year.