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More poor kids than CPS expected means more in anti-poverty funds

Updated: November 17, 2013 6:26AM



Chicago Public Schools ended up with more poor children on the rolls than projected over the summer, so the cash-strapped district collected nearly $10 million more than expected in state and federal money to alleviate poverty.

Based on attendance recorded on the 20th day of school, CPS qualified for an additional $2.9 million in state money and $6.7 in federal money for poor children over budget projections approved by the Board of Education in August.

Some 4.200 more children than expected qualify for the state benefits, and 1,250 for federal funding, according to CPS. The district lost about 3,000 students from last year, according to enrollment figures, but 85.5 percent of students still qualify for free or reduced lunch, the district reported.

That’s what’s required for students to qualify for Supplemental General State Aid from the state — CPS distributed a total of $261 million. The district also handed out $153 million in federal Title I money. The federal help requires students also to qualify for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, commonly known as welfare.

That led to 233 schools gaining an extra $9.3 million, but 243 schools losing $6.4 million in state assistance, for the net increase of $2.9 million. And 233 schools received $12.2 million more from the federal Title I program, but 217 schools lost $5.5 million, for the net increase of $6.7 million.

Among the largest gainers was the YCCS charter chain, which received an additional $523,000, Melody Elementary School on Chicago’s West Side, with an extra $409,000, and Chicago Excel Academy High School with $407,000 more. Those who lost the most included Bogan High School with $364,000 less than projected, School of Leadership High School with $294,000 less, and one of the new UNO elementary schools with $272,000 less.

About $36 million in state aid was doled out in July by enrollment projections, after CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett told schools she wanted to give them the money early to help ease a transition into a new student-based budget formula. District spokeswoman Becky Carroll could not say how many poor students or how much state and federal aid the district had in the 2012-13 school year.

Email: lfitzpatrick@suntimes.com

Twitter: @bylaurenfitz



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