Chicago Private and Charter Schools Receive $5 Million to Expand Enrollment

The ongoing conflict between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union has some parents looking for different school options for their children, and philanthropy has stepped in to help them find alternatives to the district-operated schools that continue to be caught in the cross-fire. 

Philanthropist and school choice advocate Janine Yass teamed up with the  Center for Education Reform, to award $5 million in RESCUE Grants to Chicago private and charter schools with the “capacity and interest in expanding quickly.” Large numbers of Catholic, charter and independent private schools have been granted funds.

The awardees received grants from $15,000 to $366,000 to expand their enrollment. Most awardees plan to expand their enrollment by 10 to 100 students with the grant funding. 

Awardees of the Chicago Rescue grants include: De La Salle Institute ($300,000 for 15 students); Moving Everest Charter School ($250,000 to add 90 students); St. Procopius Elementary School ($200,000 for 40 students); and Village Leadership Academy ($366,600 for 47 students). A full list of grantees can be found here

The STOP Award is a $1 million grant for an educational institution “providing a Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding, and Permissionless education to students during the COVID pandemic.” The program founder and funder Janine Yass wrote in October of 2021 “For programs to work for students, there should not be a need for anyone to ask permission to create, attend or leave a particular educational environment.” 

The grant applications opened in early January 2022 and were accepted on a rolling basis through January 14. Jeanne Allen, Founder and CEO of the Center for Education Reform, writes that she anticipates the RESCUE grants will continue to be awarded until “at least 2,000 Chicago students are able to secure great new education opportunities.”

Photo by Muneer ahmed ok on Unsplash

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Kira Dault

Kira Dault is a writer and editor who lives in Chicago with her family. She can be found on Twitter @kiradault.