Chicago Public Schools has said that nearly 80 percent of children displaced from closing schools enrolled in the “welcoming schools” in which the district heavily invested.
But WBEZ has shown that only about 60 percent of those 10,542 children whose schools closed in June ended up in the schools the district recommended for them “despite efforts by the district to woo them with promises of improved education, safe passage to school and sweeteners like iPads, air conditioning and new science labs” to the tune of $155.7 million in capital and technology spending.
The enrollment figures, which WBEZ requested from the 20th day of school using a public records request, show a difference in children enrolled of about 2,000 children from the district’s last report, the public radio station found. Read the rest of the reporting here.
The Sun-Times tried to contact CPS for comment – and to see the original numbers – but the district was closed Monday for the Columbus Day holiday.
*** UPDATED as of Tuesday at 9:55 a.m.: CPS has yet to provide the Sun-Times with the original numbers but spokeswoman Keiana Barrett replied to those requests Monday night with an emailed statement attributable to Becky Carroll:
“I hope you can update your post with the following statement from Becky:”
“Ninety three percent of students from consolidated, underutilized schools are enrolled in another CPS school today, which is not only remarkable number given the scope of these changes, but is a result of parents exercising choices they believe are in the best interest of their children. Parents were presented with multiple options for their children and the far majority chose to enroll them in their dedicated welcoming school, which will serve as high quality anchors of education in their communities for students today and future generations.”
Meanwhile, WTTW reports that enrollment at Chicago’s Catholic schools is up, with the chaos of the 2012-13 CPS school year playing at least a part in some parents’ decisions: