Schools do not operate in a vacuum, so it’s no surprise that those in North Lawndale are struggling. The neighborhood is struggling as well. Median family income is a paltry $20,253. Crime is prevalent; in 2002, the community racked up 35 violent crimes and 56 non-violent crimes per square mile, one of the highest rates in the city.
CPS has spent hundreds of millions to build new schools and additions, but almost one in three neighborhoods has a significant school overcrowding problem. Capital funds are scarce, but critics say the district could have done a better job of planning new construction and projecting enrollment shifts.
The Southwest and Northwest sides of town are two examples of the dilemmas the district has faced as it tried to accurately predict shifting enrollment and plan construction in the face of shrinking capital funds.