By Susan Stephens
Rockford, IL – It was a long and emotion-filled night for public school students, parents, and teachers. More than 400 people attended the marathon meeting where the Rockford School Board finalized last week's decision to close six schools. It notified hundreds of untenured teachers that they may lose their jobs. And then, when it came to voting on another round of cuts including eliminating specialized programs the board delivered a real surprise. WNIJ's Susan Stephens reports.
EXTRA: Rockford's mayor surprised the audience at last night's school board meeting by signing up to speak during the public comment segment. Larry Morrissey has a daughter in the Montessori program. He wanted to know why there wasn't more public input before closings and program eliminations were announced. But even mayors have to follow the board's two-minute rule. He was cut off mid-sentence by board president David Kelley. The crowd chanted "let him speak," but Morrissey followed orders. He DID point out that his State of the City address is this Thursday, and he will have a lot more time to talk about schools then.