CPS provides additional $5.7 million for schools


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Chicago Public Schools announced in a Sept. 26 press release they will be giving an additional  $5.7 million in funds to schools all across the Chicago area. 

By Taylor Morris Metro Reporter

A handful of Chicago Public Schools that experienced drastic enrollment drops will be gaining additional funding, according to a Sept. 26 CPS press release. 

Though the names were not disclosed, CPS recently announced it will be giving an additional $5.7 million in funding to a selection of schools “ to protect classroom learning,” according to the press release.

Overall enrollment rates on the 10th day of school showed a 13,804-student decline since last year, the release stated.

According to the CPS press release, the district will sort a detailed breakdown of enrollment throughout the school. Without the additional $5.7 million in funding, district-run schools would have seen a net drop in funding by $30.7 million, according to the release.

Instead, the net drop will be  $24.9 million. CPS estimates this change could lead to approximately 300 layoffs, including both teachers and support staff. CPS plans to work with schools to decrease staffing changes and distribute additional program support throughout the district, according to the press release. 

“This is just a stop-gap to help schools that really need the actual funding,” said Sean Andrews, associate professor in the Humanities, History & Social Sciences Department.“They need more funding to operate and to make sure they are able to provide the services required by federal law, like special-ed classes and services for students in disabilities.” 

CPS explained in the press release that its key priority is bringing stability to students and teachers, and have been trying to avoid the upcoming strike. Staff who are affected by the enrollment drops received termination notices on the 20th day of school, as required by statute. 

“Most schools had pretty massive cuts over the summer,” said Sarah Chambers, a special education teacher and executive board member with the Chicago Teacher’s Union. “Then this week and last week, a bunch of schools were cut funding. We definitely need a lot of new revenue.”

The funding will help minimize additional teacher layoffs, support programs and continue academic gains, she said.

“Even with declining enrollment, we know every dollar matters, and we will continue to work with our school principals to help protect classrooms and minimize the impact of having fewer students in schools,” CPS CEO Forrest Claypool stated in the press release. “Chicago students are doing better than they ever have, and it’s our mission to help them build their gains.”

Although the South Loop’s Jones College Prep High School, 700 S. State St., was not one of the schools that received the supplemental funding, Principal Joseph Powers said in the past, district funding has helped his school hire teachers and keep positions open at the school, but the school could use more.

“As far as staff is concerned, we’ve been able to hire the teachers we need, and the support staff we need,” he said. “Could we use a couple more hands? Yeah, we probably could.”