CHICAGO — The Chicago Board of Education has voted to close four high schools in the city's mostly poor Englewood neighborhood despite protests and emotional testimony from opponents.

Catherine Hencheck of the Parents 4 Teachers advocacy group conceded the four Englewood high schools are under-enrolled. However, she says their closings and replacement with a newly constructed school is a scam and not about moving children into better schools.

Schools CEO Janice Jackson and board President Frank Clark said the district responded to community concerns by electing to phase out three of the four Englewood high schools over three years instead of closing them outright this summer.

The board's decision Wednesday marks the first major school closings since the district shut down about 50 schools in 2013.

The board also voted to convert a high-performing elementary program into a new neighborhood high school.