Equal Access

Equal Access

No student should be limited by their ethnicity, finances, gender, or background. We’re working make sure that every student has every opportunity available to them.

GoCPS

To ensure equitable opportunities for all students across Chicago, GoCPS makes it easy for families to research and apply to nearly any CPS school and program throughout the city via an online platform. The platform provides a complete overview of each school, including rankings and programs, giving families unprecedented insight into their options.

Introduced in 2017, GoCPS matched 24,500 incoming freshmen in its first year. The majority of those students were placed in one of their top three school choices, and more than half placed in their top choice.

GoCPS partners include Chicago Community Trust and The Lefkosky Foundation. Thank you!

Office of Equity

More than 75 percent of CPS students are in economically disadvantaged families. 18 percent are classified as English Language Learners, and 90 percent identify as racial minorities. The Office of Equity is dedicated to eliminating the inequities that are historically associated with those groups. Led by CPS’s Chief Equity Officer, the office is working to improve the lives of CPS families and close achievement gaps by offering support to disadvantaged students.

Office of Equity

More than 75 percent of CPS students are in economically disadvantaged families. 18 percent are classified as English Language Learners, and 90 percent identify as racial minorities. The Office of Equity is dedicated to eliminating the inequities that are historically associated with those groups. Led by CPS’s Chief Equity Officer, the office is working to improve the lives of CPS families and close achievement gaps by offering support to disadvantaged students.

Universal Pre-K

Study after study has shown that early-childhood development is critical to a student’s long-term growth. According to the U.S. Department of Education, students who participate in preschool programs have higher rates of social-emotional, physical, and cognitive health later in life. They also reach higher levels of academic achievement throughout their schooling and even show higher average earnings as adults.

CPS currently offers preschool programs with tuition costs or co-pays based on family earnings, but in 2018, Mayor Emanuel announced a plan for the city to offer universal full-day pre-kindergarten for all four-year-olds in Chicago by 2021. The new plan will make every Chicago family eligible to enroll in CPS’s Pre-K program free of charge, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

The City of Chicago has invested $20 million into CPS’s 2018–2019 budget to get the program off the ground. That investment allowed us to provide an additional 3,700 preschool seats—50 percent more than last year—to Chicago families, with applications prioritized based on financial need. The city’s investment timeline should allow placement for an additional 24,000 four-year-olds per year until a full universal program is achieved in 2021.

“If we don't get our investments right in the early childhood period, then our investments later in life, in higher education, workforce development, or economic development will always be too little and too late.”

Geoffrey A. Nagle, President and CEO of Erikson Institute

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