The combination of an under-resourced school district and struggling families results in some startling systemic failures. 21.8 percent of CPS students will never graduate from high school, and only 63 percent of the high school graduates will attend college.
"First day of school, more than half of my kids didn't have a backpack and almost all of them came without supplies. I have students who have never even seen downtown."
Many students lack access to basic resources including school supplies and to opportunities such as rich after school programs, trips to museums, and mentorship. Yet success in school is a direct link to success later in life with more steady employment, greater wages and higher self-confidence.
Over the past decade, dozens of schools have closed, enrollment has decreased, students experienced millions of dollars in budget cuts, and funding for after school programs were cut.
Stacy Stewart, Principal at Belmont Cragin ElementaryHear Stacy's perspective