The Chicago school system, the nation’s third largest, is in big financial trouble, with a billion dollar deficit coming up, falling enrollment, and a recent massive teacher strike over a contract dispute.
After a heavily protested meeting where multiple people had to be thrown out, the Chicago Board Of Education voted 4-2 to close 49 schools and one high school program in the largest round of school closures that a single American city has ever attempted.
At one point, a man wearing a shirt from the Chicago Teachers Union stood up and walked out mid meeting saying “This is a farce. If you care about children, you should leave now.”
Opponents object to the closures because they say it disproportionately affects black students, that it will disrupt their educations, and that some students might have to cross gang territory.
Supporters say this is necessary just to keep the system solvent, and to try to fix the schools that remain.