FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, February 6, 2017
For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
MEDIA AVAILABILITY: 2:15 PM TODAY AT CPS, 42 W. MADISON
CHICAGO – As Governor Rauner’s own education funding taskforce announced the need to reform the most inequitable funding education system in the country, Chicago Public Schools leadership is urging the Governor to take immediate steps for equity by reversing his $215 million cut to CPS schools. The latest casualty of Governor Rauner’s cut is a $46 million freeze in schools’ discretionary funds.
“Governor Rauner’s actions cement a racially biased funding system that is also the worst in the country for children living in poverty,” CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said. “Governor Rauner did not create this unjust system, but he has chosen to perpetuate it, violating the civil rights of hundreds of thousands of Chicago schoolchildren and threatening their futures. We encourage families to contact the governor using cps.edu/Equality to fight back.”
Despite having 20 percent of the state’s school children, CPS receives just 15 percent of total state education funding. On a per-pupil basis, CPS students receive merely three quarters of the per pupil funding all other Illinois school districts, on average. Chicago’s student population is 86 percent low-income and 85 percent African-American and Latino.
As a result of the Governor’s cuts, CPS announced to principals that the District is instituting a spending freeze on the remainder of schools’ non-salary funds, including new textbooks, technology investments, field trips and non-salaried staff. About half of schools’ remaining funds will be frozen for a savings of approximately $46 million. The proportionate charter share of these freezes is approximately $18 million.
CPS is also eliminating funds for professional development that are part of Central Office’s management, for an additional $5 million in savings. Several million dollars in additional savings will come from more streamlining and layoffs in the Central office, following more than $50 million in cuts there last year.
Governor Rauner’s failure to keep his promise to Chicago students’ education is forcing Chicago Public Schools to take this additional spending reduction to preserve as much cash as possible to make a June 30 pension payment that no other school district in the state is required to make.
In a bipartisan compromise last year, Governor Rauner promised to begin bridging the wide disparity between Chicago’s pension payments and those of every other school district. Instead, the State of Illinois actually widened its unfair education funding further, increasing pension funding for every teacher except in Chicago by $243 million and cutting pension funding for Chicago teachers by $215 million. This means the state will be paying $4.0 billion for statewide pensions in FY17 and $12 million for Chicago – a paltry 0.3 percent of the pension funding going to the state’s largest school district.
“This generation of Chicago students is excelling beyond their peers – and all their progress is in jeopardy with Governor Rauner’s cut,” said Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson. “There is still time to reverse these cuts, but clearly Governor Rauner needs to hear loud and clear about the damage that he is inflicting on Chicago students – which is why we are encouraging every CPS parent and student to contact his office.”
- No CPS school will see a freeze of more than 5 percent compared to the budgets they received at the beginning of the year.
- The majority of CPS schools will see freezes of between 0 and 2 percent of the total budgets provided at the beginning of the year. Of the total District-run schools:
- 154 will see a freeze between 0 and 1 percent
- 202 will see a freeze between 1 and 2 percent
- 91 will see a freeze between 2 and 3 percent
- 32 will see a freeze between 3 and 4 percent
- 21 will see a freeze between 4 and 5 percent
- Schools not impacted by this freeze include District-run specialty and alternative schools, and Richardson Middle School, which opened midyear.
- If the Governor does not restore funding for CPS, charter schools will see reductions in the fourth quarter payments that mirror the freeze for District-run schools. The expected reduction for charters’ proportionate share of furloughs and the spending freeze is about $18 million. Charters will receive additional information in coming weeks about their expected changes.
- CPS previously announced four District-wide furlough days, for a savings of $35 million.
- A detailed school-by-school spreadsheet of freezes will be released after principals have the opportunity to review their freezes.