Just had a baby and considering buying a townhome near Prescott Elementary. We have been renting near burley/prescott and really like the neighboorhood. First time home buyer and new to the country (<5 years). A few questions (1) why does CPS get such a bad rap? (2) is it better budgeting private school expenses and factoring them into home purchase? (3) will our son stick out because we are colored and he's tiny, and are private schools safer bet from a bullying/inclusiveness standpoint?

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Congrats! Parent here whose kid went to both CPS and non-CPS schools.

1. CPS gets bad wrap for many reasons that will take me hours to type up. But the main reasons in my opinion that matter to you are:
(I) considerable inconsistency across schools. There are some great schools but they are few and far in between. And there are lots of schools which are absolutely awful. For folks not from the US (I am not either) this tends to be the biggest “wish I knew.” The scale here goes from 1-10. At home, it was maybe 7-10.
(II) there are slightly more good options for k-8, but very very VERY few good high school options and they’re all magnet and very competitive to get into. So many people either choose to move to the burbs where the schools are good and don’t have this competition or choose to go the private route, in which case it helps to enroll kids into schools with HS options (like Latin) as early as you can to have that option.
(III) large class sizes. Mine had 25-30, which is a lot. If your kid has any challenges - not even talking significant, but just regular, it can be hard to get adequate attention.
(IV) taxes you pay are just as high if not higher than the burbs but you have to deal with a lot more. Once you take into account the higher price for sq ft and especially if you have multiple kids, many people choose to move out of the city.

2. It really depends on what your expectations are for the kid, school and life style overall. If your plan is to live in the city permanently, ie through HS, i would heavily recommend considering a private school with HS option. If you want your kid to go to Ivy league, I’d recommend the private route as well. Btw, I’m not familiar with the school you’re interested in, so can’t speak to it specifically.

3. Most CPS schools, if not all, are more diverse than their private or suburban alternatives. One of the reasons we chose to go that route initially. The divide is there but more socio-economic. That said, in terms of bullying really depends on your son and the kids and the school, but generally speaking - fewer resources mean less support for the kids, so CPS doesn’t win in that area. That said my daughter never had a problem with that in her school, but that’s just my experience.

Btw, referring to people as “colored” is not something you should do in the US; it is an offensive term. We say “people of color” or casually you can say people say “brown people,” especially if you are a person of color.

All in all if I had to redo it again, I would have gone the private route or moved to the burbs.

Good luck!

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CPS is massive, you will need to do your own research on that particular school.

Private schools have bullying problems just like everywhere else and if you aren’t as rich as everyone else there your kid will stick out for that reason, not for his skin color. My personal opinion is a decent public school provides kids a better real world experience.

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