Back to school: One-third of Chicago Public Schools are half full

August 22, 2022

PRESS RELEASE from the ILLINOIS POLICY INSTITUTE CONTACT: Melanie Krakauer (312) 607-4977 Back to school: One-third of Chicago Public Schools are half full CHICAGO (Aug. 22, 2022) – As students attending Chicago Public Schools resume class today, the district is seeing severely declining enrollment and test scores. CPS has lost about 63,500 students – or nearly...

PRESS RELEASE from the
ILLINOIS POLICY INSTITUTE

CONTACT: Melanie Krakauer (312) 607-4977

Back to school: One-third of Chicago Public Schools are half full

CHICAGO (Aug. 22, 2022) – As students attending Chicago Public Schools resume class today, the district is seeing severely declining enrollment and test scores.

CPS has lost about 63,500 students – or nearly 16% – during the past decade. That leaves about one-third of CPS’ traditional, non-charter schools less than half full, Illinois Policy Institute analysis finds. Five schools are less than 10% full.

At the same time, district proficiency is at record lows: In 2020-2021, only 21% of students in third through eighth grade scored as proficient in reading; only 16% scored as proficient in math. In half-full schools, at most 6% and 1% of students are proficient in reading and math, respectively.

Despite the 10-year loss in student population, state and local funding for the district is up 40%, an increase of nearly $2 billion over 10 years.

“Property taxes are rising while CPS test scores and enrollment are dropping. Meanwhile the Chicago Teachers Union has continuously sought its own agenda,” said Mailee Smith, director of labor policy and staff attorney at the Illinois Policy Institute. “Schools and students in the district are suffering, yet CTU seems to have hardly taken notice. As the school year gets underway, parents and teachers must ask themselves whether the district has prospered or suffered under CTU power.”

If Amendment 1 is approved by voters Nov. 8, Illinois government union bosses, including those from CTU, would have the nation’s most extreme labor powers. Taxpayers also face a guaranteed property tax hike of over $2,100 during the next four years, institute analysis finds.

To read more about CPS, visit illin.is/reportcard.

For bookings or interviews, contact media@illinoispolicy.org or (312) 607-4977.