August 22, 2012
Chicago Board of Education today passed a $5.162 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2013
(FY 13) that protects investments in students and programs that support student achievement, even as Chicago Public Schools (CPS) faces a $665 million deficit. The budget provides funding for key investments for the Full School Day, early childhood development, and maintaining class size, while expanding high-quality school options across the District to give parents more choices.
The core provisions and priorities of the FY13 budget passed by the Board are the same as those released by the District earlier this summer. To fund the additional 500 teachers added through the recent landmark agreement reached between CPS and the Chicago Teacher’s Union to implement the Full School Day, the budget calls for the use of $46 million previously targeted to cover two percent employee salary increases.
The FY 13 budget will accommodate items such as salary increases, including those for teachers, through amendments CPS will present to the Board after the contract negotiation process has ended.
“This budget process involved some very difficult decisions, but ultimately reflects our commitment to protecting our students and their learning,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “While much of this budget forces us to address a very grim financial reality, we know that investments we’ve protected—such as those that support the Full School Day—will be a payoff for our kids in creating more opportunities for them to experience success in school and life.”
The budget passed today continues to invest in critical initiatives, including:
- More than $130 million in new discretionary funding to give principals and school communities flexibility to create a quality, Full School Day that best meets the academic needs of their unique student bodies,
- 500 teachers hired to implement the Full School Day in elementary schools,
- Maintaining class size,
- Meeting higher nutritional standards while realizing targeted savings and securing additional federal revenue.
- Protecting investments in early childhood education despite a $19 million cut in state funding to continue serving over 42,000 students,
- Maintaining full day kindergarten to continue serving over 17,000 students, and
- Expanding high-quality school options to create nearly 6,600 new seats in high-quality magnet, selective enrollment, charter, International Baccalaureate (IB), and Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs.
CPS has been able to maintain its commitment to these initiatives even as it copes with declining revenues and increasing contractual and statutory obligations that continue to drive its deficit, including healthcare, debt service and pension costs.
Over the past year, CPS has cut over half a billion dollars in spending. In this year’s budget, the District cut $144 million in administrative and operations spending outside the classroom ($95 million) and by redirecting Central Office-run education programs ($49 million). To close the FY 13 deficit, CPS will also rely on $432 million from its fund balance. Finally, CPS accepted its property tax rate to the allowable cap, which yields an additional $62 million in FY 13 ($28 per $250,000 household).
The budget outreach process this year has been more transparent than ever before. The Board of Education held three public hearings across the city on July 11, 2012 from 6-8 p.m. at Malcolm X College, Kennedy King College, and Daley College. CPS also held a citywide tele-townhall the following week. In addition, the budget has been available for the public to review on its website at www.cps.edu/budget and, for the first time, the public has been able to utilize interactive tools for a more transparent understanding.
Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.