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New South Side School Budgets Have Lindblom Losing, Charter Schools Gaining

By Andrea V. Watson | July 16, 2015 5:52am | Updated on July 18, 2015 8:34am
 Lindblom Math & Science Academy high school is losing funding next year.
Lindblom Math & Science Academy high school is losing funding next year.
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DNAinfo/Wendell Hutson

ENGLEWOOD — Enrollment is projected to go up this fall at Lindblom Math and Science Academy, but funding will not.

Enrollment at Lindblom, 6130 S. Wolcott Ave., for the last school year was 1,178 and Chicago Public Schools is projecting that 47 more students will enroll next year.

Lindblom is a Level 1-rated school, CPS' highest ranking, and works with students in grades 7-12. The selective-enrollment school is a U.S. News and World Report Gold Medal School and has the largest Mandarin language program in Chicago, according to the CPS website. To offer science, technology, engineering and math courses, its Biotechnology Center of Excellence works with Baxter International and the Office of STEM Education Partnerships at Northwestern University.

The school, attended predominantly by African-American students, has a 81.5 percent college enrollment rate, while the CPS average is 58.1 percent, according to CPS.

By many measures, Lindblom is one of the better schools on the South Side. Still, Lindblom will get $180,000 less in funding this year.

While it's receiving $142,000 in per-pupil funding, Lindblom will have $327,000 cut from "supplemental" funds. Those funds include state and federal monies that are typically tied to low-income at-risk students.

CPS announced this week that while its so-called neighborhood schools will get close to $60 million in cuts across the district, charter schools and other charter-like programs would receive $30 million.

Other Englewood schools include O’Toole, 6550 S. Seeley Ave., which is seeing a $53,028 increase.

Harper High School, 6520 S. Wood, will have fewer students this year, and is seeing a $740,371 decrease in funding. Parker Elementary, 6800 S. Stewart Ave., is also experiencing a drop in enrollment, and $388,740 is getting cut from the budget.

Team High School, 6201 S. Stewart Ave. is losing 68 students and will see a $434,879 decrease in funding. Urban Prep Charter — Englewood, 6201 S. Stewart Ave. — is losing $115,643, while Stagg Elementary, 7424 S. Morgan St., is losing $212,607.

Magic Johnson Academy, at 845 W. 69th St., is seeing a $123,991 cut.

In Auburn Gresham, schools like Oglesby, 7646 S. Green St., are enrolling more students this year, yet getting less money. About $3,600 is being cut from the budget.

YCCS Charter Youth Development at 7836 S. Union, on the other hand, is receiving more money. With 49 new students enrolling, the charter is receiving an additional $523,755.

Barton, 7650 S. Wolcott Ave. is losing 51 students, and receiving $535,195 less in funding. Cuffe, 8324 S. Racine Ave., is losing $41,167.

In Chatham, Ashe Elementary, 8505 S. Ingleside Ave., is losing $140,799.

In Grand Crossing, Hirsch high school, 7740 S. Ingleside, is receiving a $257,301 budget cut.

CPS Chief Financial Officer Ginger Ostro said there would be an increase in funding for 238 schools, totaling $68.5 million. While those schools gain, 416 schools would experience cuts, about $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.

Neighborhood schools are expected to enroll about 4,000 fewer students this year, according to the district, while charter schools will see an increase of about 3,000 new students. Student-based budgeting, at the most basic level, will stay at $4,390 per student for fourth through eighth grades. It will be $4,697 for students in kindergarten through third grade, and $5,444 per high school student.

“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 will continue to work with our partners in Springfield on a comprehensive solution, but in the meantime we have to prepare for the upcoming school year. 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.”

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