CHICAGO (WBBM) – A spirited rally saw more than a hundred community activists crammed into the Chicago School Board lobby in the Loop on Wednesday to demand an expansion of the Charter School System.

Activist South Side priest Father Michael Pflaeger asserted that both the teachers union and the school system are more concerned with protecting jobs, turf and power, than with educating the children.

Pfleger said he’s not pro- or anti-union, but says if neighborhood Chicago Public Schools continue to underperform, they should be shut down and replaced by charter schools.

The Rev. Walter Matthews, head of Clergy United for Education Reform, said he’d like to see the city’s current 91 charter schools doubled and he said all the regular Chicago public schools should be closed if they don’t perform.

The Coalition said each community should be allowed to determine whether its local school is performing or should be replaced with a charter school.

A charter school is a school usually created with an express philosophy and typically is not controlled by the local school district.

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