Despite days of protests and acts of civil disobedience, the Chicago Public School Board has voted to close 49 elementary schools and 1 high school program.

Dozens of parents came out to address their concerns, and several protesters had to be physically removed from the meeting.

Just four schools were spared; a vote on one school was delayed until next year.

From the Chicago Tribune:

We can no longer embrace the status quo because the status quo is not working for all Chicago school children,” Byrd-Bennett said before the vote was taken. “It is imperative that you take the difficult decision but essential steps.”

The district says it needs to close schools to address a looming $1 billion deficit and declining enrollment.

Board President David Vitale, in his remarks before the vote, said that while closing schools is difficult “ultimately it is our responsibility to choose.”

“Today’s reality requires change,” he said.

As we’ve previously reported, the Chicago Teacher’s Union has filed two federal lawsuits challenging the closings; asserting that the civil rights of the predominantly African American students impacted by the decision are being violated.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune

 

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