Chicago Public Schools appears to have lost their title to the third-largest school district in the country, with enrollments plunging for an eleventh consecutive year, according to figures released Wednesday.

CPS reports that 322,106 students are enrolled, down 2.5% from 330,411 students in the final school year. Ten years ago, there were approximately 403,000 CPS students. The district has 20,000 fewer students – about 10% – in the district’s primary schools compared to two years ago, while enrollment in district and lower secondary schools has remained stable.

“Our enrollment numbers reflect many changes, including a decline in birth rates, but also give us the opportunity to review our practices and make sure we are providing our students with the best programs and services,” said Pedro Martinez, CPS CEO. monthly meeting of the Education Council in Chicago.

Funding for CPS schools is partially enrolled per student. This year’s figures will be used to determine next year’s school budgets. The county’s total budget for the year is $ 9.4 billion, up from $ 9.3 billion last year, despite a decline in subscriptions.

Both budgets were backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in federal COVID-19 aid that is slated to expire in the fall of 2024.

The district said more students dropped out or did not come to school as expected compared to last year. CPS leaders said Wednesday that home visits and school-level interventions are some of the tools the district uses to keep children from dropping out of school.

CPS data also shows that fewer students have transferred to school outside of Chicago or to a private school in Chicago compared to last year, and fewer students have left the district to study at home this year. This decline may be related to the fact that some parents wanted to keep their children at home due to the coronavirus last year, the first year of CPS full-time, personal learning during the pandemic. This year, CPS relaxed the requirements for entry into its virtual academy.

“This data … is more of a return to the patterns we saw before the pandemic,” said Sara Kempner, executive director of corporate data strategy at CPS. “The last two years have seen dramatic changes in the reasons why students leave the district. However, when looking at this year’s data, we see trends more in line with what we saw in the 2018 school year and the 2019 school year. “

Public school enrollment is declining nationwide, especially in the wake of COVID-19. However, Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida posted an increase of approximately 4,800 students from last year to 324,961 students on September 1, making it the third largest borough in the country, behind New York and Los Angeles, respectively. based on a review of the Tribune registration data.

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Chicago expects student numbers in 155 schools to be “steady” from last year, archdiocese spokeswoman Susan Thomas said. She noted that new students are still enrolling and the numbers are not yet final.

Veronica Rico, representing Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, is distributing fact sheets to parents who share student budgeting issues in front of Brighton Park Elementary School in Chicago, September 19, 2022.

CPS enrollment is recorded on school day 20, which began a week earlier than usual this year, as the earliest school start in recent history. Nevertheless, the CPS said day one attendance had slightly risen to 93% this year. According to district data, the four-week turnout is less than 92%, one percentage point more than a year ago.

The data covers more than 600 schools, including district-run, charter and contract schools.

The racial makeup of the neighborhood hasn’t changed much in the last few years, with nearly 47% of students identifying themselves as Hispanic, nearly 36% Black, 11% White, and 4% Asians.

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The district noted that the areas of the community that saw the largest decline in enrollments in the past four years were West Elsdon on the Southwest Side, a decline of one-third; West Garfield Park on the West Side, 32%; and Auburn Gresham on the South Side, 29%. The areas of the community that saw the most growth are Southwest Side’s Clearing (38%), which CPS attributes to the new John Hancock College Prep facility; Chatham on the south side at 16%; and the area near O’Hare International Airport is 12%.

From last year to this year, CPS saw an increase in 3-year-old preschoolers and 4-year-old preschoolers, while declines in primary schools are most pronounced in grades 5 and 7.

Board member Elizabeth Todd-Breland warned the district that a comprehensive plan was needed to stem further recruiting losses.

“This continues to be a major problem for our neighborhood,” said Todd-Breland.

The enrollment numbers were announced as the Chicago Teachers Union published his study on capital urging each school to have a nurse, social worker, librarian, arts and music educator, solid athletics programs, a transformative curriculum, and trauma support.

“Join us in partnership, working together with a shared commitment to supporting students and families. We can provide this school district with what has long been denied us, real justice for every child, especially black and brown school-age children, who are still being denied the basic equality they deserve and desperately need, “the recording secretary told the board. CTU, Christel Williams-Hayes. Wednesday.

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