Chicago Public Schools
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Chicago district halts plans for $120 million high school near Chinatown

June 23, 2022
The high school, which was unveiled earlier this month in a budget proposal, has drawn criticism from board and community members who say they were excluded from the planning process.

The Chicago district has halted plans to build a $120 million high school on the city's Near South Side after hearing complaints from school board and community members.

The delay comes even as leaders in the Chinatown neighborhood and some surrounding communities have pressed the district to build a high school in the area, reports Chalkbeat Chicago

Leaders say the high school options for students in these communities are too far away and are low performing.

The proposed project, which was unveiled earlier this month, would construct a high school on Chicago Housing Authority land where the public housing once stood. 

District CEO Pedro Martinez announced the project delay just before school board members were set to vote on the proposed high school as part of its $9.5 billion budget for the 2022-23. The district had budgeted $70 million for the high school and is expected to get $50 million from the state.

Martinez said the high school would be removed from the budget for now so district officials could do their “due diligence” to answer questions from the community.

Board and community members have expressed concerns about the project and complained that the community was left out of planning for the school. Others raised concerns about whether the new school would lead to enrollment losses at nearby campuses.

The high school proposal will come before the board again in the “near future,” Martinez said.

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