When residents in North Lawndale sat down a few years to devise a quality of life plan for the impoverished neighborhood, one thing on the top of their list was a brand-new school with a focus on math, science and technology.
But then reality hit. Community groups were told by Chicago Public Schools officials that the existing elementary schools – all of them severely under-enrolled with few a couple hundred students each– were sucking up all the resources, said Betty Allen-Green, a co-chair of the Lawndale Community Action Council, an advisory board convened by the school district.
Now, these groups say they want the school district to strike a deal with them. They say they are willing to see three elementary schools close, but in exchange, they want a state-of-the-art school. They want to call it the North Lawndale STEAM Partnership Academy.
Allen-Green said she and others know that closing