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Mayor Emanuel visited Phoenix Military Academy to announce that CPS is increasing access to military schools by 50% by changing Ames Middle School’s academic focus to military while adding high school seats.
Currently, there are six applicants for every one military seat. 90% of students who attend one of CPS’s military schools are accepted into college.
-Mayor’s Press Office
Increasing Access to Quality Education Options in Humboldt Park
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett are committed to ensuring that students graduate from the City’s high schools, 100% college ready and 100% college bound. Modernizing our schools and giving parents strong choices for their children’s education is essential to ensuring that we are able to reach that goal.
While CPS faces significant operating deficits, the Mayor and CEO Byrd-Bennett are leveraging every capital dollar and TIF fund available to provide more choices for parents and for every child to have an education option that meets his or her specific needs and potential.
This is the first of several school modernization announcements throughout the City to be announced in the coming weeks that highlight how capital improvement projects can offer parents strong choices for their children’s education.
Change of Academic Focus:
The Mayor announced that he is expanding the number of military seats in the District by 50%. Currently, there are more than 6 applicants for every available military seat and so this expansion will help meet parental demand.
In order to meet the demand, the academic focus of Ames, which is currently a level three school that has been consistently 50% underutilized, will change to military. The school will be expanded from 7th grade to 12th grade and will become the permanent home for Marine Math and Science Academy.
Ultimately, this expansion will add 750 seats to Marine Math and Science and free up 600 seats at Phoenix Military Academy.
All current 7th and 8th graders at Ames Middle School can choose to stay and will continue to be able to choose from general education courses and electives.
The new capital investments at Marine Math and Science Academy will include new science and computer labs and classrooms for art and music.
It will be paid for with 7 million dollars in TIF funds.
Construction will start in late spring and be complete before school starts in September 2014.
Demand for Military Schools:
Between 2005 and 2012, the number of students applying to Military Academies has increased by 237%.
All CPS Military Academies have college acceptance rates of over 90%. The class of 2013 earned over $10 million in scholarships.
While demand continues to increase for a military education, CPS schools are now at or near their enrollment capacities given the utilization standards of their current facilities.
Chicago Public Schools is the only school system with more than 1 Military Academy High School.
CPS has the largest JROTC program in the country with nearly 11,000 students enrolled in 45 programs.
CPS programs employ 164 retired veterans as JROTC instructors.
Increasing Access to High Quality Options for Parents and Students:
The Mayor committed $36 million dollars to create 5,000 new early education seats over 3 years.
All CPS students have access to the full school day and the full school year starting in kindergarten.
CPS has extensive wait lists for a number of programs and these important investments help meet the demand by expanding seats at competitive programs and addressing overcrowding issues at many of our neighborhood schools.
With the addition of 6 new wall-to-wall IB high schools and 5 new IB programs, over 10,000 students will be able to take advantage of public IB programs in Chicago.
The City has added 5 new STEM schools that partner with corporations to create a direct bridge between a student’s present education and a future job in a growing industry – over 3840 students now have access to STEM education.