Cities face crisis as fewer kids enroll and schools shrink
August 1, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
| Updated August 1, 2022 at 2:21 p.m.
MILA KOUMPILOVA and MATT BARNUM of Chalkbeat, and COLLIN BINKLEY of The Associated Press Chalkbeat and Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) - On a recent morning inside Chalmers School of Excellence on Chicago's West Side, five preschool and kindergarten students finished up drawings. Four staffers, including a teacher and a tutor, chatted with them about colors and shapes.
The summer program offers the kind of one-on-one support parents love. But behind the scenes, Principal Romian Crockett worries the school is becoming precariously small.
Chalmers lost almost a third of its enrollment during the pandemic, shrinking to 215 students. In Chicago, COVID-19 worsened declines that preceded the virus: Predominantly Black neighborhoods like Chalmers' North Lawndale, long plagued by disinvestment, have seen an exodus of families over the past decade.
The number of small schools like Chalmers is growing in many American cities as public