CHICAGO
02/19/2013 01:21 pm ET

Which Comes First? Closed Schools Or Blighted Neighborhoods?

The blight surrounding Woods Academy, a Chicago public school in Englewood, is a common scene outside many other neighborhoods on the city’s South and West Sides.

Woods Academy was one of 129 schools flagged last week when CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced that nearly 20 percent of the city's 681 schools are eligible for closure.

The release of the school names has started another round of debates as the potential closures were more acute in neighborhoods already grappling with economic and violent crime issues, specifically the Austin, Humboldt Park, South Shore, Englewood, West Englewood and North Lawndale communities.

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