OK so I put this here because of the down stream affects of a possible demographic shift; and the underlying increase in funding that may be necessary as well. If a mod thinks this should be in it own thread then perhaps it should be moved...
More families sticking with city and private schools on North and Northwest sides
By Tara Malone, Tribune reporter
July 19, 2011
Claire Wapole grew up riding city buses to school and studying in city classrooms, where she took creative writing and even dissected a shark.
But multimillion-dollar deficits and the academic inequities in Chicago Public Schools had her agonizing over the choice she and her husband had made to raise their own children in the city............
....The decision put the Wapoles among the vanguard of an enrollment boom unfolding in public and private schools alike on the northern stretch of the city. Whether lured by burgeoning efforts to improve urban education or locked into a home they cannot sell, the tide of middle-class city residents moving to the suburbs as their children reach kindergarten may be slowing, enrollment records and demographic data suggest.
Schools on the North and Northwest sides enrolled more students even as enrollment slipped across the city's school system to 404,589 last year, down 1.5 percent from five years ago, state records show.
Student attendance in the northern stretch of the city climbed 2.4 percent during the last two years from 121,897 to 124,836 students in 2010-11, according to district enrollment records...........
............The pull of city living also may play into an enrollment boom in parochial schools, which are less expensive than other private schools. City preschool and kindergarten enrollment in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago schools outpaced the rate of growth recently seen across the archdiocese that spans Cook and Lake counties, records show.