Chicago Public Schools Fiscal Year 2015 Budget

How to use this site

Users will be able to find documents and use interactive tools to help them better understand the proposed CPS budget for fiscal year 2015. The interactive features allow users to easily click through the budget, drilling into specific budget line details or staying at a high level overview of the District.

Users can view a number of areas of the budget including revenue and debt while also looking at every CPS school and department. Each interactive report generates graphs and charts which will make budget comparisons visual and easier to understand.

Check out our Reader's Guide for more information.

Download your own copy of the FY15 Budget Book Summary.

CPS received the GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for our FY2014 online budget site.

Reader's Guide


The Chicago Public Schools’ FY2015 Proposed Budget is the financial and policy plan proposed to the Chicago Board of Education for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014 and ending June 30, 2015. The fiscal year encompasses 12 months, as mandated by the 1995 Amendatory Act enacted by the Illinois legislature.


Most likely you are reading the FY2015 Proposed Budget on the Chicago Public Schools website. This site contains the official budget document as well as interactive features that make additional information more easily accessible.


Interactive Budget Reports

The enhanced interactive budget reports allow you to view the entire budget and drill down to more detail on any component of the budget that you are interested in.


The interactive reports include:

  • Budget by Unit, including schools and Central Office departments
  • Budget by Fund, such as general fund or federal and state grants
  • Budget by Account, such as salary, benefits, commodities and contracts
  • Budget by Program, such as instruction, support services and community services
  • Revenues & Expenditures report, providing information on debt service and capital funds, as well as general operating funds
  • School and Department Lists to easily find the school or unit you are looking for
  • New this year: position detail.  New tables show categories of positions and drill down to each job title, with views by fund and unit
  • New this year: Historical Revenues and Expenditures, which show 6 years of historical data by fund and accounts
  • New this year: Download all data, for users who wish to work with excel detail of all budget lines by unit, fund, grant, program, and account.


The reports are designed to provide more detail as you scroll down the page. If you search under “Budget by Unit”, the parent unit FY15 budget vs. FY14 expenditures year-to-date is displayed first, followed by a list of full time-equivalent positions budgeted vs. filled at the fiscal year end. The individual department units that roll up to the parent unit are then shown, with budgets and positions listed by Fund-Grant. For tracking purposes, grants that are subject to rollover each year are assigned a new 6-digit identifying number, and some grant periods cross fiscal years.


Expenses are identified by program numbers, which correlate to State function codes. This code framework is developed by the Illinois State Board of Education and helps ensure that data submitted to the state is consistent across school districts.  Code 1000, for example, pertains to all instruction-based expenditures. By drilling down on each State Function Description, you will see every program name and number.


The School List report is the quickest way to get budget information about a particular school. The top of the report contains a search box where you can type in a school name and go directly to that school’s budget.


School budget reports provide information about:


  • Student enrollment
  • Student and teacher counts
  • A school’s budget by account
  • A school’s budget by fund source
  • The number of teacher and support personnel positions staffed at the school


The school budget reports also allow you to drill down for more detailed information.


Budget Book Chapters

The FY2015 Proposed Budget includes narrative overviews of Chicago Public Schools (“CPS”) programs, goals, financial policies and procedures, and summary and detailed financial tables. These chapters are accessible from the list of links on the left side of the screen on the home page of the budget website.


The following chapters are included:


Budget Overview:

This chapter summarizes the District’s financial position, outlining the goals and objectives that the District seeks to achieve in the current fiscal year and in the future. Summary tables provide additional details of the financial picture.



Included in this chapter is a description of each of the District’s revenue sources, the assumptions and factors that influence our revenue projections and year-to-year comparisons.



This chapter provides an overview of school budgets and the resources given to schools, as well as a year over year comparison of total school funding.



Profiles of each Central Office department, including its mission and major programs, FY2015 budget summary, major accomplishments and key budget initiatives are included in this chapter.



This chapter provides a basic overview of the District’s pension obligations and challenges, as the only school district in the state that must support the pension cost of its retired teachers.


Capital Budget:

The Capital Budget chapter describes our plan for major infrastructure investments. Because capital projects often take longer than one year to complete, a separate capital budget is prepared. This chapter outlines the projected expenditures for multi-year projects and explains the impact of the capital budget on operating expenses. A separate capital budget website with more detailed information on all of the projects can be found on the CPS website.



This chapter provides detail on the Board’s debt management practices. It presents a complete picture of the District’s use and management of debt. It includes a list of the current outstanding debt, proposed debt issuances and all debt service requirements.


Organizational Overview:

This chapter explains the CPS organizational chart by providing detailed information for each level of management.


Organizational Chart:

A high level chart showing reporting relationships and their connection to the Five Year Action Plan.


Fund Balance Statement:

This chapter explains CPS’ goals for maintaining a minimum fund balance (cash reserve) and how it is calculated.


Fund Descriptions:

Funds are separate accounting entities that ensure taxpayer dollars are spent as authorized. This chapter describes the four governmental funds types used by CPS:  General Fund, Special Revenue Funds, Capital Projects Funds and Debt Service Funds.  The budget website also presents a non-traditional presentation that  better distinguishes how funds are received and spent: General Budgeted Funds, School Generated Funds, State and Federal Grant Funds, Capital Projects Funds and Debt Service Funds.


Readers’ Guide:

This document, which contains basic information about how to use the budget website.


More Information:

This section includes information on demographics, school funding formulas, historical revenue/expenditure tables, the budget process, financial policies, the budget resolution and a glossary.



Copies of the Public Hearing transcripts are posted here as soon as they are available.


Page Last Modified on Friday, May 26, 2017