Download the fact sheet for educators, parents and community residents here.

The Annual Regional Analysis (ARA) is CPS’ yearly attempt to close schools while claiming to ‘make them better’. The report was developed by Kids First Chicago, a new name for the Renaissance School Fund, a charter fundraising group that pushes education privatization.

CPS is holding ‘workshops’ on the ARA’s distorted policy assumptions – and this fact sheet will help you participate in those workshops and oppose the ARA privatization agenda. Attend a ‘community workshop’ to ask the questions the ARA ignores. The ARA analysis is based on four ‘questions’, with ‘answers’ for each region on CPS’ data page:

  • How many level 1+/1 seats are there?
  • How many seats are there for the student population?
  • Are students choosing schools in their region?
  • Do students have access to the variety of schools and programs offered?

The ARA’s backdrop is the loss of thousands of CPS students because of city policies that position Chicago as a “global city” focused on big finance, insurance, real estate and marketing. Chicago ranks high among all ‘global cities’, even as skyrocketing housing costs and gentrification are pushing out working class families and shrinking our public school population.


  • CPS had 355, 156 students on the 20th day of school year 2019-20, almost 80,000 fewer students than in 2003.
  • CPS schools currently can hold over half a million students.
  • CPS created ‘overabundance’ by budgeting over $1.3 billion for new construction since 2012, including of charter schools.
  • ARA is the basis for CPS’ scheme to close schools, which the CTU will vigorously fight.
  • Bad public policy on housing, police, jobs and schools push out working class families.
  • In 2013, CPS closed 50 schools, displacing nearly 12,000 mostly Black students.
  • 41% of African American students attend a Level 1+/1 school, less than last year.
  • School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP) determines school levels and is highly weighted to test scores, which reflect socio-economics — not school effectiveness.
  • Schools with low scores serve high numbers of students with IEPs, homeless students, or economically disadvantaged students, yet are denied resources to address challenges.
  • Students in South and West Side schools have fewer fine/performing arts programs, International Baccalaureate, and selective-enrollment elementary school programs.
  • Underserved schools must compete for extra programming. That’s wrong — it should be the District’s responsibility to guarantee equitable education.

Tell CPS:

  • It’s time to end CPS’ unjust SQRP school ranking system and the racist SBB budgeting scheme.
  • We don’t need — and want an end to — standardized high stakes testing. CPS should ALSO end the racist SQRP school ‘ranking’ system.
  • All schools need investment and programs. It’s time to end CPS’ annual hunger games and make EVERY school a sustainable community school.
  • Management must do more to advocate for affordable housing, jobs and health care as a way to keep more working class families and students in the city.
  • We want CPS to reinvest its $33 million contract for police in schools instead into staffing up more loving, unarmed adults who do prevention work with our students.
  • We need an elected, representative school board NOW.

Briefing Calendar: CPS ARA report

Spread the word, attend if you can, present the facts – and make the demands this report ignores.

  • South ARA Community Meeting: Tuesday, June 30 from 5–6:30 p.m. Register here.
  • Southwest ARA Community Meeting: Wednesday, July 1 from 5–6:30 p.m. Register here.
  • Central ARA Community Meeting: Wednesday, July 8 from 5–6:30 p.m. Register here.
  • North ARA Community Meeting: Thursday, July 9 from 5–6:30 p.m. Register here.