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Analysis: Chicago school improvement spending targets North Side

By Sarah Karp, WBEZ

Parents and advocates are questioning Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s highly unusual plan to build two new schools and put additions on others in neighborhoods where existing schools are not overcrowded.

The new buildings and additions are all on the city’s North Side or in the center of the city. That’s leading some parents and advocates to wonder if politics, not need, is driving the building decisions. Emanuel is facing re-election next year.

These projects are part of the $989 million school infrastructure improvement plan that Emanuel announced last week. Though the South and West sides of the city serve more students than the North Side, they are being promised fewer dollars for repairs, renovations, or construction, according to a WBEZ analysis of the 2019 Chicago Public Schools capital budget.


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