By D'Quan Mathes
In the 2018-2019 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) budget, there are plans to make certain schools state of the art. CPS plans to invest $75 million dollars into this development, but according to the Chicago Tribune (December 2017), CPS plans to close 4 neighborhood schools in Englewood next school year.
Local residents have expressed both concern for local students and understanding of the CPS financial struggle. Beverley Davis, a private school pre-k teacher in Englewood, expressed concerns about the impact, and said that "traveling expenses will be too great." Her concern is that this may impact graduation outcomes in this neighborhood. An average family in Englewood annual salary is $18,900. This likely means the average family is living paycheck to paycheck as the average household size in Englewood is a family of five. Charles Wilson, a graduate of Lindblom Math and Science High School, was a product of CPS schooling. Mr. Wilson has traveled all across the globe to inform youth to pursue a career in Energy. Mr. Wilson stated, "From a business standpoint, CPS doesn't want to invest money into schools in which only ¼ of the population [capacity of the school] shows up. To change CPS investment vision people must move to low-income neighborhoods and begin to build businesses."
How can the new CPS plan accommodate all of CPS and receive better results at every school CPS? Perhaps CPS can consider some past successful models for schools during the renovation process. For example, Lindblom Math and Science Academy increased its student attendance and college acceptance rates since reopening. It is a challenge, but perhaps, with a new high school in Englewood, CPS can steer to invest and make more STEM or other attractive programs within the new plan in low income neighborhoods to help with attendance and performance issues while staying within budget.