Austin needs more public high schools, some say

Local officials in Austin say if Chicago Public School leaders don’t create more high school seats in the West Side neighborhood, more youth will end up in the streets of Chicago’s toughest areas. But CPS officials say Austin residents will have to be content with their three Renaissance 2010 high schools. Austin High School, the only public school in the community, shut its doors four years ago. Its successor, Austin Community Academy, which was open for one year, was shut down by Mayor Richard M. Daley and converted into three small high schools with an attendance of 1,038 students, compared to the 6,000 students the academy held. Austin officials worry that rising crime rates will climb even higher if CPS officials don’t take action to bring back Austin High School.