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How A $1 Million Budget Cut Could Cost Chicago Schools Millions More

Just over a decade ago, Chicago Public Schools launched a small office to identify low-income families who qualified for public benefits but were not getting them.

The idea was grounded in research that shows that students who are well-fed at home and have access to health care are more likely to attend school regularly and be ready to learn. And each year, tens of thousands of students go without public benefits that they are legally entitled to.

There was also a fiscal plus, since CPS gets extra poverty dollars from the state for every low-income student who receives a public benefit.