Responding to the lack of full-day kindergarten programs in Chicago, public schools’ CEO Jean-Claude Brizard has dedicated $15 million to bring full-day programs to 6,000 more students in more than 50 schools.
Despite the increase, some Chicago schools are still funding full-day programs through school discretionary funds or even parent fundraising. And many schools still have only half-day programs.
Local media have been tracking the issue closely. Last week the Chicago News Cooperative published the list of schools starting or adding to full-day kindergarten with the new money. Though a July story reports Brizard intended to target the money to high-need schools, the list indicates a broader range of schools are starting programs, including a new STEM elementary school. However, the northwest and southwest sides of the city each have 11 schools starting full-day kindergarten programs, and both areas are known for school overcrowding, which can hamper schools’ ability to provide classroom space for full-day programs. Overall it would seem the money is going where it is needed.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.