Key Coverage

Can These Chicago High Schools Survive?

In Chicago, where funding follows students, Tilden is one of more than a dozen shrinking neighborhood high schools that has been starved of resources, leaving students like Averett to prepare for their futures in largely empty buildings that can make dreaming big a daily struggle.

“Why should we go without because of our student body?” asked Averett, who dreams of attending college and pursuing a career in law enforcement. “I feel like it’s unfair. We should get the high school treatment too. But, you know, it is what it is.”

Using academic, demographic and enrollment data — in addition to criteria CPS employed to close 50 schools in 2013 — the Tribune identified 17 neighborhood high schools hardest hit by dwindling enrollment and poor academics. CPS plans to close three of these buildings, as well as a fourth school, next year to make way for a new, consolidated high school in Englewood. The district is also considering a plan to open a charter school in another of the schools, Hirsch, next fall.