By: Diane Benjamin
The Unit 5 website still hasn’t been updated: https://www.unit5.org/Page/356
I did receive this information by FOIA after reminding them it was past due.
The first response was this:
Unit 5 has 12,815 students, which would also include students with partial enrollments or special education enrollments (i.e students at Private Schools in town that we are providing special education services to).
Since the only number I was looking for is actual enrollment, I asked how many or those 12,815 are partial or special enrollment.
I received this response:
This number is what we are serving within our district and students sitting in our classrooms, the current number is 12,363.
Refer back to this story: https://blnnews.com/2023/11/01/unit-5-has-lost-1447-students-since-2016/
Last year enrollment was 12,304, so enrollment is slightly higher.
One more set of numbers to see: https://www.illinoisreportcard.com/district.aspx?source=studentcharacteristics&source2=lep&Districtid=17064005026
The percentage of English Learners is rising every year. These are kids whose primary language is not English:
6.8% of students means Unit 5 had 837 students last year with English not being their primary language. The number will continue to get worse. How many spoke no English when they entered Unit 5?
Enrollment at District 87 last year was 4,866, which means 457 did not speak English as a primary language. Their numbers will also continue to get worse.
Don’t ask about immigration status, you will be told the schools can’t ask who is here legally and who isn’t. Of course in Illinois it doesn’t matter. This is on your property tax bill however – hidden.