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Education and Youth

Image of young girl raising her hand

Mayor Emanuel has made investments throughout the city’s educational systems to give every child a strong foundation for success in education, career and life. Through the Mayor’s vision, the city has seen improved outcomes throughout the education pipeline. Since 2011, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students have outpaced the academic growth of national and state peers in both math and reading, while reaching historic highs for test scores, the rate of freshmen on track to graduate, high school graduation, and college enrollment rates. The city’s educational improvements extend beyond elementary and high school; Mayor Emanuel reinvented City Colleges of Chicago through its new Centers of Excellence and college-to-career focus, and also created the Star Scholarship to give hardworking CPS students free tuition and books at City Colleges.

  1. Mayor Emanuel transformed Chicago from having the shortest school day of any major city in the country to a city with a full school day and a longer school year, providing students entering kindergarten with 2.5 additional years of instructional time by high school graduation.

  2. Mayor Emanuel committed to ensuring that there is universal access to free, full-day pre-kindergarten by fall 2021. Access to universal full-day pre-kindergarten will roll out annually over the next four years, prioritizing communities with the most children in need.

  3. Mayor Emanuel has made significant investments in after-school programs and youth employment through initiatives like One Summer Chicago. More than 110,000 youth will participate in after-school programming this year through Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Park District. More than 32,000 young people held summer jobs through One Summer Chicago in 2018, double the 14,500 served during Mayor Emanuel’s first term in office.

  4. In 2016, Mayor Emanuel announced an aggressive effort to invest $36 million over three years to significantly expand mentoring programs for at-risk youth across the city. The Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative—including programs like Becoming a Man and Working on Womanhood—served 8,605 young people across 105 CPS schools last year.

  5. During his first term in office, Mayor Emanuel approached several global corporate partners to create Early College STEM high schools, investing in students’ science, technology, engineering, and math skills to prepare for success in college and future careers. Since then, the number of STEM schools has grown to eight, with the new Englewood High School opening in 2019-2020 as the ninth.

  6. In 2011, Mayor Emanuel launched the groundbreaking College to Careers program, designed to ensure that students gain the skills required for the careers of tomorrow. As part of this initiative, Mayor Emanuel launched Centers of Excellence at each City Colleges campus, aligning with in-demand industries like healthcare, transportation and logistics, advanced manufacturing, culinary arts and hospitality, and information technology.

Read more about the Education and Youth progress made over the last eight years.