The Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted tonight to close 23 public schools at a meeting where American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten was arrested along with 18 other activists during a protest at the entrance to the hearing, the Washington Post reports. Four schools originally slated to be closed were given a reprieve and will stay open. Weingarten, who runs the second largest teachers union in the country, and the other activists were protesting and blocking the entrance to the room where the hearing was being held. Weingarten sent text messages to colleagues saying she was placed in handcuffs and arrested.
“When you’ve exhausted all the legal remedies and none of the powers that be will listen to you, then you’re forced to take actions which may lead to an arrest,” she said in a text. About the closing schools, she said, “It will cost more to close these schools — $25 million — than it will to keep them open, $24 million.”