NEAR WEST SIDE — Parents at Andrew Jackson Language Academy have been asked whether they would support pushing back the school's start time by as much as a half-hour — a move that could potentially result in a $100,000 budget boost for the magnet school over the next two years.
In an email sent to parents late last week, Principal Matthew Ditto laid out several options for consolidating bus routes between Jackson and other CPS schools, thereby saving money and pushing back the magnet's start time.
"On average," the email states "every time a bus is paired, the cost of that bus drops from about $300 per run to about $70 per run." While CPS would see the vast majority of the projected savings, a portion of the money saved would go back to Jackson over the next two years.
Even though the school wouldn't see any additional funds from the savings after two years, Ditto stressed that "the change in bell time will be a long-term commitment for school."
The school has to decide on whether to keep its current schedule of 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and receive no additional funds. If the schedule is changed to 8:45 a.m.-3:45 p.m., the school would get $64,000 over the next two years. A 9 a.m.-4 p.m. school day would earn the school $102,000 over two years.
Community members can weigh in on the decision at Andrew Jackson's local school council meeting Wednesday at 4 p.m. The meeting will be held at the school, 1340 W. Harrison St.