Chicago to Approve Public High School for Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Teens

Chicago school officials plan to recommend opening a gay-friendly campus, citing studies that homosexual high school students have greater dropout rates than heterosexual teens.

The School for Social Justice Pride Campus, if approved, would be the city's first school for gay, lesbian and transgender students, The Chicago Tribune reported.

The final vote by the Board of Education is scheduled for Oct. 22.

Chicago Public Schools head Arne Duncan plans to ask the board to give the green light to that and 17 other schools, according to the Tribune.

"We want to create great new options for communities that have been traditionally underserved," he told the newspaper. "If you look at national studies, you see gay and lesbian students with high dropout rates ... I think there is a niche there we need to fill."

The new campuses are expected to open in the fall of 2009 and 2010.

Most of the 50 Chicago residents who attended a public hearing Wednesday night supported the gay and lesbian school, which will likely have up to 600 students, the Tribune reported.

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