Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Every district in the State of Illinois is facing unnecessary – and unconscionable – uncertainty about how much funding they will receive from the State, thanks to Governor Rauner’s failure to sign a historical education funding reform bill.
Despite this uncertainty, CPS schools will open on time and stay open – a statement that, unfortunately, many other districts cannot make.
Indeed, 855 districts’ budgets are in limbo and many districts are in jeopardy because Governor Rauner refuses to acknowledge that his politically motivated claims about a CPS bailout are categorically false, as proven time and again by independent fact checkers.
However, Governor Rauner’s political games do not change the legal requirement for school districts to publish their budgets, even if Springfield hasn’t enacted education funding for anyone.
As a result, today we share a budget that is the framework for the district’s eventual FY18 budget. When the dust has cleared in Springfield, like many other districts, we will have a more detailed and specific budget that incorporates any changes or revisions required.
This budget framework outlines how the district will move forward to ensure that Chicago’s children can continue their blazing academic progress – including the landmark finding from UIC that every demographic group in Chicago is outperforming their peers around the state.
This budget assumes that the State will enact education funding reform along the lines of Senate Bill 1, which is the only evidence-based funding model that has won approval from the General Assembly. Under this model, 268 districts would receive more money per pupil than Chicago. CPS would receive $300 million in additional funding in FY18, despite the fact that independent fact checkers say that if Chicago students were treated equally, CPS should receive $500 million.
This budget also assumes that CPS will receive additional local resources to address its remaining budget gap. CPS is in discussions with the City of Chicago on the balance of local resources.
This budget will build on management reforms and efficiencies that have saved hundreds of millions of dollars and allowed more resources to be directed to classrooms, where they matter most. Over the past two years, this administration has reduced Central Office positions by 400, or nearly a quarter of the staff; put in place modern financial and auditing systems; and slashed the structural deficit to reduce the financial risks facing the district.
Let no one forget the single most important part of this debate: ensuring that all students have the resources to get the education they deserve. That is at the heart of this debate. And it is at the heart of all our work.
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools