Today, the Chicago Board of Education could approve the closure of an unprecedented 54 schools, including four in Austin.
Despite protests from parents, students, community activists and the Chicago Teachers Union, many expect the board to approve most if not all of the proposed closures.
On the chopping block in Austin: Horatio May Elementary Community Academy, Louis Armstrong Math & Science Elementary, Robert Emmett Elementary and Francis Scott Key Elementary.
More than 3,800 Austin students would be impacted if the board approves the closures. Citywide, an estimated 30,000 students would be affected.
West Side parents have protested against the closures in Austin, citing safety as one of the reasons the four schools should remain open. (A fifth school – Leslie Lewis Elementary School – is slated for turnaround action, meaning an entirely new faculty and staff will be installed.)
For Louis Armstrong students, the average walk to their new school this fall will be about three-quarters of a mile, compared to as low as one quarter-mile, according to a recent Chicago Tribune story.
Dwayne Truss, Raise Your Hand board member and community activist, is urging students and teachers to boycott school today and join other community leaders at CPS Headquarters, 125 S. Clark St., for the meeting.