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CPS enrollment down 2 percent overall, though charters up slightly

Enrollment at traditional Chicago Public Schools is down almost 2 percent this school year compared to last with nearly 6,000 fewer students, according to figures released by the district late Friday.

Charter schools, however, saw a slight increase with just over 900 new charter students enrolled this year, the figures show. Their enrollment and funding will be reconciled next month, the district said.

In total, 367,499 students are enrolled in CPS schools this year.

The data was released as CPS crunched enrollment numbers after the new school year’s first 10 days.

It adjusted individual schools’ budgets based on the student enrollment. Now, 240 district-run schools will gain $22.7 million in funding, while 262 schools will see reductions of $36 million.

“CPS students are making strong academic progress and we are committed to building on their achievements,” CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said in a statement. “Working with our partners in Springfield on a comprehensive solution to our budget challenges — that achieves pension equity and prioritizes education funding — is vital to continuing the progress of our students, teachers and principals.”

Another enrollment analysis is done on the 20th day of the school year — Oct. 5 — and teachers who might be laid off are notified that day.

“CPS continues to work with our principals and their network chiefs to prepare for these adjustments, tracking enrollment leading up to school and in the first two weeks of class, so we believe principals are well-prepared for their adjusted budgets,” Janice K. Jackson, the district’s chief education officer, said in a statement. “As a former principal myself, I know that our school leaders are the best positioned to make smart decisions about scarce resources, and making sure that they have the most impact on our students’ learning.”

However, there’s concern over the dropping enrollment.

Jennie Biggs, of parent group Raise Your Hand, said enrollment has been dropping for the past few years.

“It just goes to show that parents are reacting to the instability of CPS and moving out of the city or moving to private schools,” she said later adding: “I think there’s this frustration because of the unknowns and the just the instability of the district itself.”

Here are the complete CPS numbers:

Chicago Public Schools