Charter Facts

ENROLLMENT FACTS

Chicago’s charter public schools enroll almost 52,000 students, or about 15% of the city’s public school students. Chicago’s charter public schools enroll students of color, low-income students, and students with disabilities at higher rates than other Chicago public schools. The reason why is clear: parents in Chicago’s historically underserved communities are demanding access to public charter schools, where their children will have access to the high-quality public education they deserve.

Students of Color

Black & Hispanic students make up 96% of enrollment in Chicago’s charter public schools, compared to 82.5% of students in Chicago’s district-run schools.

Low-Income Students

Students who qualify for free and reduced price lunches make up 86.2% of enrollment in Chicago’s charter public schools compared to 76.4% of enrollment in Chicago’s district-run schools.

 

Special Education Students

Students with disabilities comprise 15.1% of enrollment in Chicago’s charter public schools compared to 14.6% of students in Chicago’s district run schools.

 

CPS’s Recent Enrollment Decline & Charter Sector Enrollment

Although CPS enrollment has fallen precipitously in recent years, this decline is NOT due to more students attending charter schools: since 2013, CPS enrollment has declined by nearly 32,000 students which is an 8% decrease, while Chicago’s charter sector enrollment has decreased to 52,000 students, which is a 2% decrease. CPS’s enrollment has declined because there are fewer school aged-children in Chicago, not because there are more children attending charter schools.