The Chicago Board of Education, following the recommendation of its staff, has approved seven proposed new charter schools that will open over the next two years.
The board's action Wednesday follows its decision last year to close 50 neighborhood schools because they were underutilized.
Charter school supporters and detractors crowded the meeting room.
Illinois Network of Charter Schools President Andrew Broy urged the board to approve academically sound charter schools.
But Manolita Huber, the mother of Chicago Public Schools student, voiced skepticism about the board's plans, saying it will follow Mayor Rahm Emanuel's orders and ignore the wishes of parents and taxpayers.
CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said the district must continue to expand high-quality education options to reach the goal of students being "100 percent college-ready and 100 percent college-bound."