A new school year offers endless possibilities. And this year, I really feel the chances for our kids to soar are better than ever before.
Why is this year different? For starters, we finally have a new school funding system that sends money to schools in a fair and equitable way. That new law, signed by the Governor last week, provides CPS schools more resources to give our students a high-quality education. All under-resourced districts in Illinois are better off thanks to the new system, and it sets our schools on a better path for the future.
If that sort of generational change wasn’t enough, we also had news last week that CPS’s freshmen on track to graduate rate is at an all-time high of 88.7 percent! This measure, which is highly predictive for students going on to graduate, has grown steadily for years now – jumping almost 20 percent since 2011. Not only that, but the achievement gap between students of different races has narrowed, too.
Our city’s graduation rate is also on the rise. This year, the number increased to 77.5 percent, up four full points from 2016’s 73.5 percent rate. Just another reason to feel good about the direction our schools are headed.
But even with all of this good news, our work is not done. Not by a long shot. We need to keep pushing for better schools for our kids. We need to keep fighting to improve their school attendance and literacy rates. And we need to work together to ensure they have safe and kind schools in which to learn and grow.
These are the things we are fighting for. And as we enter this new school year filled with pride and optimism, I know you’ll be there with us as we continue the fight for a quality education for all kids that prepares them for the future.