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Chicago Board Of Ed Backs 7 New Charter Schools After Protesters Camp In Freezing Cold

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Amid single-digit temperatures, public school supporters camped out overnight outside Chicago Public Schools headquarters to protest the district's expansion of charter schools months after it shuttered 50 neighborhood schools.

On Wednesday, the Chicago Board Of Education ultimately voted to recommend seven new charter campuses of the 17 proposed, the Sun-Times reports.

Public school advocates have battled with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his appointed school board over the cash-strapped district's seeming willingness to back charters as neighborhood schools struggle.

"These are the kinds of lengths we have to go to, to get heard around here," Chicago Teachers Union staff coordinator Jackson Potter told the Tribune in reference to the 20 supporters who camped outside the district's 125 S. Clark St. headquarters in the Loop.

"We turned out to their public hearings and they chose to ignore us, as they always do, so we had to do something a little outrageous to get people's attention," CTU financial secretary Kristine Mayle told NBC Chicago.

Of the district’s 658 schools, CBS Chicago reports 130 are charters; roughly 60 new charters are set to open over the next few years.

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