School has just started and now it's time to see what the enrollment is at schools around the city:
Monday is a suprisingly important day for the Chicago Public Schools.
It’s the 10th day of school, the day that now determines how much money a school will get and keep this school year because everyone enrolled is officially counted.
In a year of myriad changes in the country’s third largest school district, moving the kid count to the 10th day from the 20th perhaps is one of the less harrowing, one that even adds stability to struggling school budgets earlier than usual.
School budgets are directly based on enrollment. Extra money for poor kids, for example, or for special education students, is allotted for the exact number of each a school enrolls. So the sooner the count is in place, the sooner a school’s principal can finalize staff.
And with CPS doling out money per student this year — money that now directly pays teacher salaries, for aides and supplies instead of allotting numbers of teachers to schools — counting kids enrolled at schools accurately is still essential.
Based on the district’s enrollment projections, principals have hired staff using the amount of money they were given based on those projections. Monday’s count finalizes what they’ll keep.