It was an emotional evening Thursday for hundreds of suburban parents and students after Lincoln-Way School District 210 voted 5-2 in favor of closing a local high school.
The decision to close Lincoln-Way North High School came to a head Thursday when school board members met to vote in New Lenox after weeks of discussion and speculation.
Lincoln-Way North’s closing is part of a controversial plan that school leaders hope will ease a large budget deficit.
Before the vote, parents and students pleaded their case to try to keep their school open.
“You know this entire Lincoln-Way community will be affected by the decision that you make,” one parent addressed to the packed auditorium. “My prayer is that you will break from the mistakes of the past.”
District 210, like many other school districts, has serious financial issues – and fewer kids, which is why leaders say they decided closing one of its four high schools was its best option.
The school board hopes the shuttering will help – for now – get off the state’s financial watch list.
Still, many said they would miss the bond they have with their school.
“The fact that my high school is now closed and I will never get to go back there and relive the memories I was there for, it’s heartbreaking,” one student told NBC Chicago after the vote.
Lincoln-Way North High School will close at the end of the upcoming school year.