Chicago board votes to close 50 schools

The Chicago Teachers Union, headed by Karen Lewis, opposes the closures.

By CNN Staff

(CNN) -- The Chicago Board of Education voted Wednesday to close 50 schools, a controversial move that drew sharp criticism from the city's teachers union.The vote comes two months after officials announced plans to shutter the schools.
The closures "will consolidate underutilized schools and programs to provide students with the quality, 21st century education they need to succeed in the classroom," Chicago Public Schools said in a statement Wednesday.
The Chicago Teachers Union opposed the closures, which it said would disproportionately affect African-American students.
    "Today is a day of mourning for the children of Chicago. Their education has been hijacked by an unrepresentative, unelected corporate school board, acting at the behest of a mayor who has no vision for improving the education of our children," said Karen Lewis, the union's president. "Closing schools is not an education plan. It is a scorched earth policy."