CPS parents get into heated debate over plan to close 4 Englewood schools

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some Chicago Public Schools parents did not hold back their feelings about the closing of four high schools in the city's South Side Englewood neighborhood.

The school board wants to close four low-enrollment, aging buildings - William R. Harper High School, John Hope Community Academy, Paul Robeson High School and TEAM Englewood Community Academy - to build a brand new, open-enrollment, multi-million-dollar high school. Under the plan, those schools would close the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

Some parents were angry the existing schools would close a year before the new campus is built. It would not open until the fall of 2019. Other parents felt there has to be a little pain, for a whole lot of gain.

"You put the money into the schools that are existing. Stop closing our schools," one CPS parent said.

"Why not raise up a new school where there's programs that our kids can elevate and continue to elevate in their education. Maybe they could be a representative, a president, a governor, from the Englewood community," another CPS parent said.

CPS officials said over the past ten years, Englewood high schools have seen declines in enrollment of 70 to 85 percent.
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