Local Context*

  • Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the nation’s third largest school district with nearly 400,000 students, primarily African American (39.3%) and Hispanic (45.6%).
  • The majority of CPS students live at the poverty level qualifying the entire CPS district for the federal free breakfast and lunch program effective in 2014.
  • In 2014, 69.4% of CPS high school students graduated, an all-time high. But only 14% of CPS students graduated with a 4-year college degree by their mid-20s, below the national average of 18%.
  • Under CPS budget plans for FY2016, 3 out of 4 schools would see their budgets cut. At Kelly High School, funding will decrease by $1.3 million on top of $4 million in cuts in FY2014. Compared to other schools in the district, this change in overall funding would be the 16th largest decrease out of 503 schools with budget cuts.






National Context*

  • Students from wealthy families graduate from college at more than twice the rate of students from poor families, including students with the same SAT scores.
  • The big difference wasn’t how hard a student studied or how well they did in high school. The most important indicator was a student’s household income.