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Mayor Insists His Door Is Open To Principals' Concerns

Emanuel Denies Stifling Dissent From Principals

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel has sought to counter a perception his administration stifles dissent from school principals, saying he and Chicago Public Schools administrators have an open-door policy.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports several public school principals have come forward to say they are ignored and disrespected when it comes to things like school closings, budgeting, and the like.

Some said they're afraid to speak publicly about such issues.

When confronted with those allegations, Emanuel insisted his door and that of CPS Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett are always open to principals.

"If a principal has a concern or an idea, her attitude, my attitude is we want to hear about it," he said Wednesday. "If there are concerns, Barbara meets regularly with the principals. I meet with them when I go to schools, and bring their ideas in."

The mayor said one example is the expansion of International Baccalaureate programs to neighborhood schools was an idea from principals.

"If anybody has an idea, or a concern, it should be heard and listened to and addressed in that way," he said.

Some principals, however, said they do feel repression from the Emanuel administration.

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