CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Teachers Union is blasting city officials over what, it claims, are plans to close all four schools in Englewood.
This comes more than a year before a new school is set to open for student in the South Side neighborhood. CBS 2’s Lauren Victory has a look at the plans from Paul Robeson High School.
Chicago Public School leaders promise the grounds at Robeson will be home to a $75 million new high school, but construction is not slated to finish until fall 2019. That leaves students at other Englewood schools in jeopardy for the 2018 school year, according to the Chicago Teachers Union.
Representative for CTU said they are hearing about June 2018 closures at Robeson, John Hope College Prep, Harper High School and Team Englewood Community Academy.
“This is unprecedented, closing all the public schools in a neighborhood,” said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey. “You’re talking about really waging a war on and targeting an entire working class black neighborhood.”
Sharkey said John Hope College Prep and Harper High School will let out class for good this June. Adding parents should expect closure announcements for Robeson High School and TEAM Englewood Community Academy as soon as Friday.
But, the plan was not totally a secret.
In June, CPS announced they would shutdown these schools and open up a state-of-the-art facility in their place; but CTU representatives said they were promised the closures would not happen until the new building was ready.
“That promise has been broken. All those decisions that get made about school closings and school openings at that level run though the mayor’s office.
“These students will be shipped off to places like Gage Park or Hyde Park and they will not be able to attend high school in their neighborhood,” Sharkey said.
At Chicago’s John Hope College Prep students and parents like Jackie Claybon suddenly find themselves preparing for life in another school.
“This whole thing about them closing, it’s kind of a shocker,” she said. “It would actually disrupt them even worse. The kids right now are actually attending school, so you close it down, where are they supposed to go then?”
CPS President Forrest Claypool told the Chicago Tribune he is confident decisions are being made with the students best interest in mind.
CBS 2 were told a meeting with top district officials is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday at Paul Robeson High School.