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Students, CTU Upset With Future CPS Closures

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago Public Schools confirmed what the teachers union feared: four schools could be closed soon.

The schools in jeopardy are: John Hope College Prep, TEAM Englewood Community Academy, Harper and Robeson High School.

CBS 2's Sandra Torres reports on what students have to say about the move.

The plan is for a new high school to be built for the freshmen class of 2019.

While CPS says it's a plan with students interests in mind, current students says who won't benefit from the new facility don't agree.

As students end their day at Paul Robeson High School in Englewood, many react to news they may have to find a new school next year.

"I think it's a bad idea," says student Amarrion Head. "We knew each other all our life now we have to be split up. It hurts."

"We built a student-teacher relationship in this school. Everybody in this school knows each other," says student Dyshon Smith.

CPS announced their plan Friday saying Robeson, Harper, John Hope College Prep and TEAM Englewood high schools could close by June.

"Schools where enrollment is so low that kids are only offered the basics minimum. They don't have access to AP courses," says Dr. Janice Jackson, Chief Education Officer for CPS.

"They don't have access to all of the sports and after school activities and all of the other things that make up a rich high school experience."

Nearly 330 students currently enrolled in those schools would have the opportunity to choose where they'll finish off high school.

"We plan to sit down individually with parents and students to find out what transition is best for that child," says Darlene O'Banner, a member of the steering committee.

It's the plan until a new 85 million dollar campus is finished by the fall 2019.

"We will have a state-of-the-art high school built in our community that will afford our students with the opportunity to continue their educational experience," says Cederrall Petties, principal at Earle STEM Elementary School.

Members of the Chicago Teachers Union disagree.

"This is an outrage," says Jackson Potter.  "You can't begrudge people for wanting something better that's precisely why we need to invest in schools like Robeson, TEAM Englewood, Harper. We can't abandon Englewood."

The Chicago Board of Education is expected to vote on the plan by February.

But members of the public can provide their input before the vote during several community meetings and public hearings slated for January.

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