Education, Unequal Policy, and Visions for Equity

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Geography is an important factor in understanding the varying degrees of access to quality schools in Chicago. While a variety of school types comprise the educational landscape of the city, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) plays a formative role in structuring educational opportunities across neighborhoods. The district currently serves over 360,000 students, 86% of which are African American and Latinx. The number of students enrolled in CPS has decreased significantly over the past two decades. Just 10 years ago, for example, district enrollment hovered above 400,000 students. Population loss and the corresponding decline in enrollment has been used to justify school closures that have disproportionally affected South and West Side communities in the city.