Compared to the last academic school year, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has seen a significant drop in student enrollment at schools throughout the district this year.
There are around 11,000 fewer students attending CPS schools in 2016-17 than there were enrolled in 2015-16, the Chicago Tribune reports. According to district officials, the majority of the decline in students attending school is coming from CPS prekindergarten and elementary institutions.
The Tribune also reported that CPS officials claimed 381,349 students were attending class in all the district’s schools on the 20th day of the current academic year. This number included all of the privately-run charter schools and alternative learning institutions, which operate under the jurisdiction of CPS.
However, the school district’s overall budget has already been adjusted based on last year’s overall attendance figures.
“Under the district’s student-based budgeting model, money is set aside for each school based on an enrollment estimate made before the beginning of the academic year,” wrote Juan Perez Jr., a reporter for The Tribune.
“Budgets at district-run schools are then adjusted on the 10th day of classes. Additional state and federal aid is tied to a school’s enrollment on the 20th day of classes, which is when each year’s official CPS census is taken,” Perez also wrote in his October 21st news article.
CPS has been dealing with some well-documented problems over the past few years concerning its debt, poor academic progress, and volatile school security situations. Violent crime remains as a major problem in the urban neighborhoods surrounding the poorest CPS schools.
As of Saturday (October 22nd), Chicago’s total murder count stood at 588. The significant drop in enrollment at CPS schools could reasonably be attributed to concerned parents who are frustrated with the school district’s failure to improve the overall educational experience for its students.
According to Fox 32 News, a local media outlet, a Chicago school bus driver was hit in the head by a stray bullet during a shooting late last month on the city’s West Side.