Chicago Board of Education votes to close 4 Englewood schools

CHICAGO -- Englewood is officially getting a new $85 million  high school after the Chicago Board of Education voted Wednesday to close multiple schools in the neighborhood despite an outcry from the community.

Activists and students crammed the lobby at CPS headquarters. There were more than 60 speakers. Many of them were emotional students who said they felt like they were being left behind.

Wednesday’s meeting of the Chicago Board of Education was heated. The plan was to close down Englewood high schools which have been shrinking and build the new multi-million dollar campus to open in 2019.

The Chicago Teachers Union asked for Wednesday’s vote be postponed. They organized activists and students who were adamantly opposed to the closures.

But the board nearly unanimously voted to shutter the Englewood schools which means Robeson High School will be closed this summer and Hope High School, Harper High School and Team Englewood will be phased out over the next three years.

CPS will also consolidate two schools in the South Loop area – converting National Teachers Academy to a high school – perhaps the most controversial part of the plan for people at the meeting.

Students also protested at City Hall Wednesday afternoon. The Chicago Teachers Union has filed a grievance against CPS saying that closing these schools is a violation of its labor contract.