WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times investigated promises made in 2013 to students and communities about what to expect after their schools shut down.
In a series of stories, we explore three core promises made by city officials a decade ago: That the students would be better off after their school closed, that their new schools would be transformed and that their former school buildings would be reborn as community assets. Here is what we learned.
Four years ago, Chicago tried an alternative to mass closings of underenrolled schools. Is this a path forward as the city’s enrollment continues to drop?
Mayor Brandon Johnson says he opposes closing schools and our investigation shows they didn’t help students or communities. We explore the alternatives.
The Sun-Times and WBEZ found that school officials failed to protect these welcoming schools and the $155 million invested in them over time.
Chicago closed 50 schools in 2013, saying this would help students. But our analysis shows little changed academically for the affected kids.
The mayor promised the 46 buildings left would get a second life. The Sun-Times and WBEZ visited every building and community to see what happened.
The city said the students would be better off, their new schools transformed and the closed buildings would be reborn as community assets.