This is a move community leaders said would disproportionately hurt African Americans.
In fact, the very same paradigm that Examiner has reported in DC Public School closures is happening in Chicago and across the country.
Published reports late Wednesday said the announcement would occur Thursday, and teachers told the Associated Press the city had already begun telling them about individual school closings.
A Chicago Public Schools spokesperson said she could not confirm that the announcement would come Thursday. Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett reiterated in a statement that the announcement would be soon.
The Chicago Tribune, citing sources it did not identify, reported that about 50 schools would be closed from among a preliminary list of 129 schools that officials identified as having too few students. The system has a total of 681 schools.
The Chicago Sun-Times published a partial list of 27 schools that various sources confirmed would be closed.
Teacher Rosemary Maurello said the principal of Lafayette Elementary School in the Humboldt Park neighborhood read staff a letter about that school's planned closure, the Associated Press reported.
The message said a final decision would be made in May, but Maurello said information packets were already prepared for parents and "it sounds like a done deal."
The pending closures have been the subject of tense community meetings in Chicago and across the nation.
Most of the schools targeted for closure are in predominantly black neighborhoods on the city's south and west sides, the Tribune reported. The same is true of public schools in Washington, and across the country, according to Empower DC.
Critics also say the closures will be a major inconvenience for families and may threaten the safety of students who would have to cross gang boundaries to get to a new school. Examiner has also reported that the displacement of at-risk children and students in special education is especially dangerous.
Austin lays the blame on Chicago's mayor. "Rahm Emanuel, I've been a supporter of yours since day one, but you've done us wrong this time," Austin told the Tribune. "He's forgetting about the people who helped put him in office."
Byrd-Bennett said Wednesday that the city needs to close schools to save money and provide quality education.
"After 34 meetings across the city, we have heard loud and clear about what parents needs are and what their expectations are for the consolidation. Post-consolidation, we're looking to, where are the investments and what do we want our children to have? And that is every child should have a quality education," she told WLS-TV.
WLS-TV reported that three different protests were scheduled Thursday by community organizations. In one of those protests, parents planned to go to the homes of school board members.
The Chicago Teachers Union has scheduled an anti-school closing rally for next Wednesday in downtown Chicago.
"The Chicago Teachers Union, the Grassroots Education Movement, parents, students and legislators demand a full moratorium on school closings and charter proliferation this school year," according to a statement on the union's website.