Chicago Public Schools board considers ending selective enrollment, magnet schools

John Garcia Image
Saturday, December 16, 2023
CPS board considers ending selective school enrollment
The Chicago School Board is considering a major change that would affect the school selection process for students.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago School Board is considering a major change.

Part of a new plan that is in the works would move Chicago Public Schools away from selective enrollment and magnet schools and instead focus on building up neighborhood schools.

As part of a five-year strategic plan, the board voted to approve a resolution to support neighborhood schools and move away from the school choice system. That's where students have to be accepted into selected enrollment schools, and often have to travel long distances to get to those schools.

The selective schools include some of the highest ranked schools in CPS. They include charter schools as well as magnet schools, like Walter Payton Prep and Jones College Prep.

Critics of the selective enrollment system said it began almost 30 years ago as a way of offering education opportunities to everyone. However, some board members said the district has put schools and students against each other. They said the system has increased the racial inequity it was meant to help solve.

The shift to neighborhood schools was one of Mayor Brandon Johnson's campaign promises.

The resolution signals the direction the board intends to move in as far as strengthening neighborhood schools, but there will still be much more work involved in terms of how they plan to implement it.

The board expects to have more of the new strategic plan ready to release next summer.