Chicago school enrollment declines for 11th year

Chicago school enrollment declines for 11th year

A total of 82,000 fewer students attend Chicago Public Schools than a decade ago. Chicago Teachers Union President Stacey Davis Gates blames the city for more than a decade of declining enrollment.

Chicago Public School enrollment is down by roughly 9,000 students from last year, marking the 11th consecutive year of declines.

Total enrollment has declined by 82,000 in a decade to about 321,000 for the current school year, according to a preliminary tally compiled by WBEZ from school-level enrollment figures.

There are fewer kids in CPS, but nearly $2 billion in additional funding. Only 21% of students in 3rd through 8th grade scored as proficient in reading and 16% in math for 2020-2021, the last school year for which student test score data is available.

“If our mayors, including this one, can’t keep Black families from leaving by supporting and funding Black communities and educating Black children, then they have failed Black people,” Chicago Teachers Union President Stacey Davis Gates said.

Davis Gates is right that if a family can’t afford to live in Chicago, they’ll leave regardless of the local school’s funding. However, bigger budgets with worse proficiency means more funding is no magic fix.

As a result of the decline to 321,000 Chicago students, Miami-Dade County Public Schools with 325,000 students is on the verge of surpassing CPS as the nation’s third-largest school district.

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