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Noble Charter, Neighborhood Schools Brace For Cuts on Near West Side

By Stephanie Lulay | July 14, 2015 8:59am
 Smyth Elementary, Noble Charter's UIC campus, Andrew Jackson Language Academy and Skinner School will all lose funding next year.
Smyth Elementary, Noble Charter's UIC campus, Andrew Jackson Language Academy and Skinner School will all lose funding next year.
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Smyth Elementary; Noble Charter Network; DNAinfo/; Skinner Elementary School

NEAR WEST SIDE — Of the 416 schools in Chicago to see cuts amid a $106 million state budget crisis, two Near West Side charter schools will collectively lose more than $800,000 in funding for the coming school year, according to data released Monday.

Chicago Bulls College Prep and UIC College Prep, both Noble Network Charter Schools, are among a group of Near West Side schools that will be forced to operate with less funding this school year. Smyth, Skinner, Andrew Jackson and Whitney Young High Magnet Academy on the Near West Side also face budget cuts.

But the budget announcement wasn't all bad news for the neighborhood's schools. As Crane Medical Prep High School plans to enroll more than 150 new students, the school will receive a nearly $1 million boost — a 37 percent funding increase for the magnet high school. 

Schools that lost money are:

• Montefiore Special Elementary School, 1310 S. Ashland Ave.: The small therapeutic day school serving male students with profound emotional disorders will lose $168,555 in funding — a 23 percent cut. Enrollment increases by three students.

• Dett Elementary School, 2131 W. Monroe St.: Dett faces a $385,390 cut, resulting in a 15.8 percent decrease in funding. About 30 fewer children have enrolled at the neighborhood school this upcoming school year.

• Smyth Elementary School, 1059 W. 13th St.: The University Village school is poised to lose $227,615 in funding, an 8.1 percent budget decrease. About 30 fewer children have enrolled at Smyth.

• Chicago Tech Academy, 1301 W. 14th St.: A CPS contract school, about 30 fewer children have enrolled at Chicago Tech for the 2015-16 school year. The school faces a $243,150 cut, a 6.5 percent reduction.

• Simpson Academy High School, 1321 S. Paulina Ave.: Simpson, a school for pregnant and parenting teen moms, will receive $106,600 less in funding, a 6.4 percent decrease. The school plans to serve three fewer young women next year.

• Irving Elementary School, 749 S. Oakley Blvd.: Irving will lose $153,810 in funding, a 5.7 percent loss. About a dozen fewer students have enrolled.

• Noble's UIC College Prep, 1231 S. Damen Ave.: Serving 40 fewer students, Noble Network Charter's UIC charter high school's budget was slashed $448,360, a 5 percent cut.  

• Noble's Chicago Bulls College Prep, 2040 W. Adams St.: As the Near West Side charter school loses 48 students next school year, the school will lose $384,400 in funding, a 3.6 percent decrease.

• Hope Institute Learning Academy, 1628 W. Washington St.: A CPS contract school, Hope Academy's funding will be cut $114,415 next school year, resulting in a 3.6 percent decrease. About 22 fewer students will attend the school.

• Skinner Elementary, 1260 W. Adams St.: As 45 students join the school next year, enrollment swells to 950 students. Still, the West Loop school faces a $135,155 reduction in funding, a 2.4 percent decrease.

• Andrew Jackson Language Academy, 1340 W. Harrison St. A lottery admission elementary school, enrollment at Andrew Jackson is expected to stay the same. The school faces a $71,220 cut, a 1.9 percent decrease in funding.

• Whitney Young Magnet High School, 211 S. Laflin St.: The competitive selective enrollment high school will add five students, bringing the school's population to about 2,200. Still, the school faces a $259,584 reduction in funding, a 1.8 percent cut.

• Urban Prep Academy's West Campus, 1326 W. 14th Place: The Urban Prep charter school in the Near West Side faces a $31,215 loss in funding, a 0.8 percent cut. About 10 fewer students will attend the school.

Schools receiving more funding:

• Crane Medical Prep High School, 2245 W. Jackson St.: The magnet prep high school plans to enroll more than 150 new students. Crane will receive a $950,000 boost next school year — a 37 percent increase in funding.

• STEM Magnet Academy, 1522 W. Fillmore St.:  STEM Academy will receive $252,870 in new funding, a 10.5 increase. The school plans to enroll 48 more students.

• Brown School of Technology, 54 N. Hermitage Ave.: Adding 19 students, the neighborhood elementary school will get $92,040 more dollars, a 7.1 percent funding increase.

• Rudolph Elementary Learning Center, 110 N. Paulina St.: The special education elementary school will lose one enrolled student but gain $34,195 in funding, a 4.5 percent increase.

• Galileo Scholastic Academy, 820 S. Carpenter St.: The elementary magnet school serving more than 550 students increases funding by $121,837, or 3.5 percent. Enrollment increases by one student. 

• Jefferson Alternative High School, 1100 S. Hamilton Ave.: Jefferson receives a $49,260 increase in funding, a 1.1 percent boost. Enrollment increases by 78 students. 

• Suder Montessori Magnet School, 2022 W. Washington Blvd.: Suder, an elementary magnet school, will add five students. Funding increases by $37,890, or a 1 percent increase.

• Chicago Virtual Charter High School, 38 S. Peoria St.: The charter school's funding increases slightly at $12,015, a 0.18 percent change. Serving 680 students, enrollment decreases by two students.

Ted Cox breaks down CPS' cuts and how the CTU is responding:

“No one would argue that these are the budgets that we would like to be presenting, but they reflect the reality of where we are today; a budget deficit of more than $1 billion; the demands of a broken pension system; and a state education funding that is near last in the country,” said interim CPS CEO Jesse Ruiz. “We have tried to limit the impact on our classrooms, but we sympathize with teachers, parents and principals whose schools will be seeing fewer resources than last year.”

Since 2010, Illinois has taken a 13 percent cut from the state's budget, according to CPS. 

Chicago Public Schools announced Monday that neighborhood schools will see almost $60 million in cuts district wide, while charter schools and other charter programs for at-risk students would see a combined $30 million in gains.

CPS Chief Financial Officer Ginger Ostro said 238 schools would see increased funding, at a total of $68.5 million, while 416 see budgets cut, at a total of $99.5 million.

"Money follows the students," Ostro said, adding that projected CPS enrollment for the coming school year is 372,275, down about 1 percent from last year.

According to the district, so-called neighborhood schools are expected to enroll about 4,000 fewer students in the fall, while charters increase enrollment by about 3,000 students.

Basic student-based budgeting would remain level at $4,390 a student for grades 4-8, with $4,697 for students in kindergarten through third grade and $5,444 a pupil in high schools.

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