Chicago Public Schools Fiscal Year 2016 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 2016. 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 FY16 Budget Book Summary.

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

Organization Chart


The FY16 budget for Chicago Public Schools includes a capital plan totaling $178 million for school repair, improvement, and modernization. The investments outlined in this plan reflect the tremendous financial challenges facing the District, and are limited to previously announced projects and emergency maintenance and repairs that immediately impact student safety and comfort.

The capital budget includes $115 million of funding provided by CPS through bonds, and $63 million from the City of Chicago, Federal E-Rate funding, and other external sources. The $115 million of CPS funding represents a significant decrease from the $184 million proposed for FY16 in last year’s five-year plan. This decrease reflects the minimum investment required to maintain CPS facilities.

Under the leadership of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CPS and the Board of Education have provided over $1.4 billion since FY12 to build new schools, provide playgrounds and air conditioning, improve access to technology with new computers and expanded bandwidth, expand academic programs (career and technical education programs, for example), and make core investments in our facilities to repair roofs, fix chimneys, and replace or repair boilers and other mechanical systems. This has been done to ensure students have a high-quality learning environment to support their education.

Today, over $567 million in capital projects are underway at 126 schools, each supporting this vision of expanding high-quality academic options for families across the city. The District’s fiscal constraints, however, have forced CPS to scale back plans for building upgrades and improvements in FY16. Investments in air conditioning, programmatic initiatives, and IT system upgrades have been reduced from the plan released in FY15 and repairs to CPS facilities have been limited to those that impact the health, warmth, and safety of students and teachers.

The FY16 capital budget and five-year capital plan outline plans for $581 million of investments from FY16 to FY20. Highlights of the plan are included here; full details are available at the Capital Plan website -

Since releasing the FY16 One-Year and Five-Year Capital Plans on May 1, 2015, the budget has been revised to add $5.2 million for emergency projects at Lakeview and Edwards. This increase has been partially offset by a $2 million reduction in CPS-funded projects accelerated or that received favorable bids. An additional $1.6 million of projects previously listed as CPS-funded have been re-categorized as outside funded to reflect new sources of funding. $15.5 million for potential outside funded projects has also been set aside for funding that may materialize during the fiscal year.

Limited Financial Resources

Given the District’s $1.1 billion budget deficit, we must shift the focus of our five-year capital plan away from plans released in prior years and instead address only our most urgent facility needs. On average, our buildings are over 75 years old with a total repair need of $4 billion. Our financial shortfall has forced us to limit our capital plan to roofs, chimneys, and other basic building needs, leaving little remaining for important investments that would ease overcrowding, add additional programmatic initiatives, and expand technology upgrades.

Prioritize Building Needs

The FY16 capital plan proposes nearly $91 million in roof, chimney and other building condition projects to address our most urgent needs. Investments in the Facility Needs category include roofs at Saucedo, Collins, De Diego, and Edwards, as well as chimneys at Alcott, Manierre, McCormick and Sumner. In addition, Tilden and Lakeview high schools will receive urgent masonry repairs, Crown and Shields will receive needed structural renovations, and phase two of the Lane Tech renovation will be completed.

The five-year capital plan proposes continued funding for the District’s most urgent building needs, with annual investments of between $70 and $80 million. Of this total, we will set aside $16 million annually for emergency projects that arise throughout the year - an increasingly important tool as our buildings age and we manage through a smaller-than-ideal capital plan.

Technology, Programmatic and Other Investments

We have appropriated $41.8 million to invest in IT infrastructure, programmatic needs, athletic fields, and playground and air conditioning initiatives.

Continue full-day Pre-K expansion. We propose investing $2.7 million to continue the district-wide Pre-K expansion at Columbia Explorers and Tonti. Tonti, a high performing neighborhood school, will receive a new 4-classroom modular unit to expand on a successful Pre-K program at the school. The Columbia Explorers project involves building out new leased space to house Pre-K students.

Improve school internet access for enhanced learning. The District will provide $13.2 million to meet IT requirements, $8.5 million of which will provide upgraded data networks at over 50 schools with nearly $4 million of the $8.5 million funded through the Federal E-rate program. $2.1 million will fund three projects necessary to keep the District’s computer systems and IT infrastructure up-to-date. An additional $2.6 million will fund projects that will be paid for by operating savings.

Playgrounds program successfully completed. With the completion of the 27 playgrounds in the FY16 playlot budget, CPS will wrap up the multi-year playground program that successfully built playgrounds at all schools with available space.

Air Conditioned classrooms to aid learning. In 2013, fewer than half of the CPS campuses had air conditioning in every classroom. Since then, CPS has installed air conditioning at 177 schools. With the release of last year’s capital plan, the Mayor announced a five-year goal of installing air conditioning in every classroom. After the newest air conditioners are installed at 35 schools this summer, only 65 school campuses remain without air conditioners, putting CPS well ahead of schedule on the five-year plan.

Overcrowding Relief Underfunded

This capital budget does not include any new schools or annexes. Just over $10 million will go toward overcrowding relief at Dore and Mount Greenwood. The Mount Greenwood project consists of six modular classrooms to address the growing population. Dore will receive an eight classroom modular addition to temporarily relieve severe overcrowding while design begins on a more permanent solution.

Though much needed, these two investments do not address the increasing need to provide adequate space for areas with increased enrollment. In the past, the state has provided capital funding to help with overcrowding, but without assistance from a state capital program, CPS’s fiscal constraints leave the District unable to further address this outstanding need.


The District’s FY16 proposed One- and Five-Year Capital Plans are available on the interactive capital website at, providing community members with easy access to detailed information on all capital projects that are planned and underway. The site allows users to quickly select projects by school, geographic area, type, and year. It also allows users to scroll over an interactive map to gather details by area. The site has been designed to encourage public engagement and comment.

Developing and posting the proposed FY16 and five-year capital plan ensures that CPS has complied with the requirements of Public Act 097-0474. The FY16 and five-year capital plans were developed around findings from the Education Facility Master Plan. Together, these resources provide a comprehensive picture of the utilization, capital needs, and future direction for the District’s physical infrastructure.

Sources and Uses

The FY16 Capital Budget totals $177.6 million and will be funded by a combination of CPS resources, state funding, a federal grant, TIF funding, and various other local public and private funding sources. In total, approximately $115 million comes from CPS resources, and $63 million comes from outside support. Below is a summary of the sources and uses of the FY15 Capital Budget by project type.


Table 1: Sources and Uses (In Thousands)

Debt Proceeds $ 114,911
Federal Grants 3,800
State Funding 18,900
TIF Funding 24,040
Self-Funded Projects 2,600
Other Local Public and Private Funding 13,305
Total FY16 Capital Budget Sources $ 177,556
Building Repairs and Modernization $ 139,574
 Facility Needs 90,729
 Facility Upgrades 5,010
  Interior Renovations 3,600
  Lockers 1,410
 Site Improvements 20,635
  Playlots 8,070
  Athletic Fields 9,255
  Other Site Improvements 3,310
 IT & Other Projects  13,200
 Contingency  10,000
Access to Quality Education Programs $ 2,944
 Pre-K Expansion 2,640
 Programmatic Investments 304
Relieving Overcrowding $ 10,200
Other $ 24,838
 Capital Project Support Services 9,578
 Legal/Regulatory Requirements 3,500

Potential Outside Funded Projects

Total FY16 Capital Budget Uses $ 177,556

Impact of FY16 Capital Projects on Operating Budget

All projects considered for inclusion in the annual capital budget are analyzed for their projected impact on the District’s operating budget. For some projects this year, the capital investment supports a programmatic or academic investment in the operating budget, and both the operating and capital investments were approved concurrently. In other instances, we expect to see savings, such as energy savings, but these are difficult to quantify. Below are details of the operating impact by project type, with savings expressed as a negative number in parentheses and additional operating costs expressed as a positive number.

Facility Needs

Building Envelope/Chimney Renovations Energy Savings

The Lane Tech renovation is expected to have a positive impact on the operating budget as old structural issues are fixed and result in increased energy efficiency, although it is difficult to estimate or measure savings. This is also the case for roof and window projects at Addams, Collins, De Diego, Gallistel, and Saucedo and other building and chimney renovations outlined in the plan. In addition, building envelope renovations, once completed, generally free up engineers and other CPS resources to focus on other buildings in need of attention.

Mechanical and Electrical Energy Savings

Mechanical projects will be funded on an emergency basis from contingency, so the number of projects we will complete as part of the FY16 Capital Budget is unknown. However, any new FY16 mechanical projects should generate operating savings, as new boilers are more energy efficient and require less maintenance than older, existing machines. This frees up CPS resources for other mechanical systems in need of attention.

Facility Upgrades

Building Interior and Lockers No Impact

The Building Interior category consists of ADA, furniture projects, interior renovations, and locker installations. These improvements require virtually no maintenance and do not impact the operating budget.

Facility Site Improvements

Playgrounds, Turf Fields, and Site Improvements No Impact

New playground and turf field construction requires some maintenance and cleaning to prolong the life of the playground. While this maintenance requires an engineer or custodian – thus taking time from the individual’s other job duties – there is no impact on the operating budget as maintenance is absorbed by current school personnel. The benefits of the playgrounds and turf fields in conjunction with the district’s recess initiative easily outweigh the small personnel commitment.

IT & Other Projects

Information Technology and Other Projects ($0.9 Million)

Many of the Information Technology (IT) and Educational Programming projects consist of infrastructure, hardware, or software implementation that does not trigger any additional operating costs. The ongoing support for these projects will be absorbed by current available staff, resulting in no increase to the District’s operating budget. Additionally, the new equipment associated with the School Data Network and Wireless Upgrades project will cost less than current equipment to maintain, but revised maintenance costs are still to be determined.

The FY16 capital plan includes $2.6 million worth of IT investments that will be funded by operating savings generated by these projects. The payback period is two years for the Position Control Replacement project and five years for the Student Information Systems Replacement, after which CPS will realize ongoing operating savings for each project.


Pre-K Expansion $0.9 Million

The addition of new space for Pre-K classrooms at Columbia Explorers and Tonti increases the need for facilities support personnel, district utility costs, and building maintenance costs. The lease of space for the Columbia Explorers addition will also add rental costs to the District’s operating budget. We estimate this total to be approximately $87,000 annually.

Other Programmatic Investments No Impact

Renovations at Back of the Yards High School and Davis will provide upgrades necessary for Back of the Yards’ wall-to-wall IB program and Davis’s Child Parent Center. These projects will not add to the District’s operating budget.

Overcrowding Relief

Modulars $0.06 Million

The addition of new modulars at Mount Greenwood and Dore increases the overall need for facilities support personnel, district utility costs, and building maintenance costs. We estimate this total to be approximately $62,000 annually.


Capital Project Support Services/Legal Requirements ($13.1 million)

Capital Project Support Services and Legal Requirements, such as bi-annual assessments, are paid out of capital funds because of their sole focus on capital-funded projects. Due to this funding classification, the operating budget is able to spread the cost of these items over several years, saving over $13 million in operating expenses in FY16.

Capital Projects Funds

The Summary of Capital Projects Funds table shows capital revenues and capital outlays (expenses) to be incurred in FY16 regardless of the year the project was appropriated. The Fund Balance (unspent revenues received in prior years) accounts for the difference in expected FY16 capital outlay versus revenues. For example, if the District raised $400 million in bond proceeds during a fiscal year but only expensed $300 million in the same time period, the remaining $100 million would carry forward in the Fund Balance for use during the following fiscal year.


Table 2: FY14 - FY16 Summary of Capital Projects Funds (In Millions)

Beginning-Year Fund Balance $ 173.8 $ (92.0) $ (147.6)
Local 37.2 111.0 82.5
State 37.8 69.0 80.3
Federal 14.9 - 12.5
Total Revenue 89.9 180.0 175.3
Capital Outlay 487.0 384.1 297.8
Bond Proceeds 131.3 148.5 555.0
Transer Out to Debt Service Stabilization Fund 0.0 0.0 40.0
End-of-Year Fund Balance $ (92.0) $ (147.6) $ 244.9

Local revenue of $15.0 million is expected from new TIF-related projects, $12.4 million from other local funding sources, $50.8 million from prior year TIF-funded projects, and $36.9 million from the sale of properties and other revenue sources.

The state revenue total is comprised of $13.3 million in gaming revenue for new construction projects and $6 million for potential Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and energy efficiency grants. An additional $60 million of the state revenue total is tied to Chicago Vocational Career Academy’s major renovation, for which CPS continues to wait for reimbursement.

The federal revenue total includes $5.8 million from the Federal Aviation Administration for the noise abatement project at Ebinger and $6.6 million in Federal E-Rate funding for upgrades to the District’s IT infrastructure.

Table 3 outlines capital funds spent each fiscal year by the year in which the funds were appropriated. For a more detailed view into FY15 spending, CPS will publish a report by September 30, 2015 that offers a breakdown of funds by project, source, and other categories.

Table 3: Capital Spending by Year (FY12 - FY16)


    Spending by Year (Cash Paid Out)  
  Total Appropriation FY2012A FY2013A FY2014A FY2015E FY2016E Remaining Spend
Prior Year/Other Expenditures 451.4 240.9 52.4 25.7 8.4 -
FY2012 Capital Budget 659.9 102.2 178.3 65.8 56.8 20.0 181.8
FY2013 Capital Budget 473.3 - 74.3 310.7 23.6 8.0 56.7
FY2014 Capital Budget 347.5 - - 84.7 125.7 26.0 111.0
FY2015 Capital Budget 509.9 - - - 152.2 181.1 176.6
FY2016 Capital Budget 160.3   - - - 54.2 106.1
Total Spend by Year   $553.6 $493.5 $513.6 $384.1 $297.8 $642.0
All values in millinons A = Actual  E = Estimated

Changes to FY16 Budget from FY15 Five-Year Capital Plan

Last year, as part of the District’s Five-Year Capital Plan, CPS proposed $184 million in capital investments for FY16. As discussed previously, our vast need for building repairs and unprecedented fiscal constraints have forced the District to re-prioritize these proposed investments.

Table 4 lists the school-based projects added to the FY16 Capital Budget from last year’s five-year plan.


Table 4: School Projects Added to FY16 Capital Budget

Project CPS Funding Outside/Self Funding
Facility Needs
Tilden - Urgent Masonry Repair  $ 1,000,000  $700,000
Alcott – Chimney 850,000 -
Manierre – Chimney 560,000 -
McCormick - Chimney 560,000 -
Sumner - Chimney 270,000 -
Crown - Structural Renovation 409,000 -
Shields - Modular Renovation 830,000 -
Lakeview - Emergency Repairs 1,700,000 1,000,000
Edwards - Roof 3,500,000 -
Programmatic Investments
Columbia Explorers - Pre-K 600,000 -
Tonti - Pre-K 2,040,000 -
Back of the Yards - Interior Renovation 39,000 225,000
Davis - SIB CPC Expansion 40,000 -
Mount Greenwood - Modulars 3,000,000 -
Dore - Modulars 7,200,000 -
Building Interior
Morgan Park - Lockers 1,000,000 -
Franklin - Lockers - 410,000
Amundsen - Interior Renovation 850,000 2,600,000
Site Improvements
Payton - Parking Lot 1,100,000 -
Esmond - Athletic Field - 1,300,000
Hayt - Athletic Field - 705,000
Audubon - Athletic Field - 1,200,000
Alcott - Athletic Field - 1,600,000
Solomon - Athletic Field 450,000 -
Wells - Athletic Field - 2,700,000
Clemente - Athletic Field - 1,300,000
Orozco - Space To Grow - 1,610,000

Nine projects in need of emergency repair work on roofs, chimneys, and masonry were added to the FY16 Capital Budget. These new projects reflect urgent needs that have arisen since the publication of last year’s five-year plan.

New programmatic investments are included in the FY16 Capital Budget to expand Pre-K at Columbia Explorers and Tonti and to support the IB program at Back of the Yards and the Child Parent Center at Davis. Additional modular space to relieve overcrowding was added at Mount Greenwood and Dore.

The budget for building interior projects includes additions for investments of lockers at Morgan Park HS and Franklin and an interior renovation project at Amundsen HS - a project that leverages an additional $2.6 million in outside funding. Additionally, a $1.1 million investment for a parking lot at Payton HS will end the current lease for staff parking and ensure compliance with building codes for the school’s new annex, and a $450,000 investment into an athletic field at Solomon will fulfill a prior commitment. Athletic fields and site improvements at seven other schools that are fully outside funded were added as well.

CPS also increased its commitment to playlots (to $5.5 million in CPS funding from $3.6 million in last year’s five-year plan) to complete the multi-year playlot program one year ahead of schedule.

Along with these additions to the FY16 Capital Budget, the budget for IT projects was reduced by nearly $20 million, with an additional $6.4 million coming from outside/self-funded projects. The $20 million included in last year’s FY16 plan for Air Conditioning was also removed, aided by an additional $10 million of state funding appropriated in FY15.

Finally, the District’s FY16 capital budget includes $62.6 million in outside funding, some of which is outlined above. This represents an increase of $59 million from the FY16 plan outlined last year. These funding opportunities will allow CPS to complete projects that it would not otherwise be able to afford.




Page Last Modified on Saturday, May 27, 2017