Chicago Public Schools Fiscal Year 2016 Budget

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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.

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

Organization Chart

Schools and Networks

Two years ago, CPS introduced Student Based Budgeting (“SBB”), a funding model that allocates funds to schools on a per-pupil basis, which created greater consistency in funding across the District, ensuring that funding is fair and equitable, as dollars follow the students.

In FY16, the SBB Base Rate remains unchanged.

Despite the District’s well-known financial problems, CPS is making every effort to maintain funding levels on core instruction in the schools. For this reason, SBB rates in FY16 are being maintained at the same level as in FY15.

Despite these efforts, the overall amount of SBB funding will decline in FY16 because enrollment is projected to be lower. Further, the District will no longer allow schools to keep funding if their enrollment is lower-than-projected on the 10th day of the school year, when funding adjustments are made. Over the past two years, schools were "held harmless" if they had lower-than-projected enrolled, allowed to keep funding for more students than they actually had. This year, however, SBB funding will follow the actual enrollment at each school on the 10th day.

As in FY15, schools can apply for programmatic support if the loss of funding due to large declines in enrollment makes it difficult to support their core educational programs.  Requests are submitted through CPS network chiefs and reviewed by the Office of Network Support, with final decisions made by the Chief Executive Officer.  To date, 18 schools have received $2,445,000 in program support for FY16.


Though CPS enrollment has been declining, it has done so at a slower rate than the rest of the state. Between FY11 and FY15, CPS enrollment has declined by 1.5 percent, or almost 6,000 students. Enrollment in the rest of Illinois has declined by 1.8 percent during this same period, with a decline in births being a driving factor in the enrollment declines for both the city and state.  (See Appendix A for more information about enrollment and demographics.)

In FY16, we are projecting a further net overall decline in enrollment of 2,592 students, or 0.65 percent, as shown in Table 1.


Table 1:  FY15 Enrollment and FY16 Projected Enrollment by School Type

School Type FY15 Actual (20th Day) FY16 Projected
Pre-K K-12 Total Pre-K K-12 Total
Traditional district-run schools* 21,559 309,411 330,970 20,951 305,412 326,263
Charter schools** 334 56,206 56,540 0 58,019 58,019
Contract schools** 21 3,504 3,525 0 3,744 3,744
District specialty schools* 959 1,082 2,041 965 1,103 2,068
District options schools 0 884 844 0 963 963
ALOP/SAFE school programs 0 2,723 2,723 0 3,034 3,034
Total District Enrollment 22,873 373,810 396,683 21,916 372,275 394,191
Community partner programs 4,938 5,293

*FY15 enrollment for Christopher is included in traditional district-run schools. Christopher was funded as a specialty school in FY15, but will receive SBB funding in FY16.

**Pre-school programs located at charter schools are operated by community partners. In FY16, pre-school students at charter/contract schools will be counted as enrolled in the community partner program, not at the charter/contract school. Community partner enrollment is not included in the enrollment for the District.

K-12 enrollment at traditional district-run schools is projected to decline by 3,999 students, from 309,411 to 305,412. K-12 enrollment at charter and contract schools is projected to increase by 2,053 students, from 59,710 to 61,763.

For the first time in FY16, Alternative Learning Options Programs (ALOP) students are counted in SBB enrollment.  ALOP programs, which serve students who have dropped out of school and seek to return, have expanded rapidly over the last two years – from 634 students in FY13 to 3,620 students at the end of FY15. These programs are an important way that CPS tries to reengage with off-track students and set them on a path for graduation.


Table 2:  Growth in ALOP Enrollment since FY13

School Type FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16
20th Day 20th Day Q2 Q3 Q4 20th Day Q2 Q3 Q4 Proj.*
ALOP Enrollment 634 1,090 1,582 1,756 1,939 2,675 3,209 3,386 3,620 2,966

*Enrollment projections are based on 20th day enrollment in prior years; mid-year increases have not been taken into account.

As shown in Table 1, pre-school enrollment is also projected to decline by 957 students, from 22,873 to 21,916, but these numbers are somewhat misleading. In FY15, 355 pre-school students were counted in the enrollment at charter or contract schools; in FY16, they will be reclassified as enrolled in the community partner program operating in the charter or contract school. When enrollment at community partner programs is factored in, we are projecting a decrease of approximately 600 students, which is consistent with the experience of the last several years and with a trend of declining birth rates in the city and state.


Table 3: FY15 Pre-school Enrollment and FY16 Projections

Pre-school Enrollment (Ages 3 and 4) FY15 20th Day FY16 Projected
CPS Schools 22,873 21,916
Community Partner Programs 4,938 5,293
Total 27,811 27,209

While these enrollment numbers reflect the official 20th day enrollment count and the projection for FY16, enrollment is not the only factor that determines early childhood funding. CPS receives state Preschool for All (PFA) funding and federal Head Start funds which provide for a number of pre-school seats that exceed 20th day enrollment projections as extensive outreach to at-risk families takes place throughout the year. Moreover, a number of pre-school seats are initially left available at the 20th day to guarantee spaces for children who must be placed throughout the school year, as the district is obligated to provide a seat for any student with an IEP once he or she turns three years of age. Entry of pre-school students eligible for special education services occurs on a rolling basis throughout the school year.

Number of Schools

Per CPS definition, a school:

  1. is officially authorized by the Chicago Board of Education;
  2. is based in one or more buildings inside the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago;
  3. has or will have one of the following governance structures:  a local school council, an appointed local school council, a board of directors, or a board of governors;
  4. employs at least one administrator to lead the school;
  5. employs at least one credentialed person to provide instruction to students;
  6. provides an appropriate curriculum for each grade level served that, at a minimum, meets all requirements of the Illinois State Code;
  7. requires progression towards a terminal grade level within a single school, regardless of physical location;
  8. is not defined under Illinois School Code as something other than a school (e.g., an Alternative Learning Opportunity Program is not a school); and
  9. has or is intended to have at least one actively enrolled student during the school year.

Based on this definition, there were 664 schools in FY15, and 660 schools in FY16. Table 4 gives the school count school type.


Table 4:  Number of CPS Schools by School Type, FY15 and FY16

School Type Description FY15 FY16
Traditional district schools District-run schools funded through Student Based Budgeting 504 502
Charter schools* Public schools managed by independent operators and certified under state charter law 131 130
Contract schools Public schools managed by independent operators under a contract with the District 11 11
District specialty schools District-run schools that primarily serve students with significant diverse learning needs or early childhood students. 12 11
District options schools District-run high schools for students in restricted environments or students who need educational alternatives to traditional high schools 4 4
SAFE school programs* Schools managed by independent operators for students who have been expelled from other schools due to violence 2 2
Total schools 664 660
Not counted as schools:
ALOP programs* Programs managed by independent operators that provide educational options for students who have dropped out of school and seek to return 12 13

*The FY15 Budget Book stated that there are 132 charter schools. After the budget book was published, but before the beginning of the school year, a new charter school did not open, reducing the number of charters to 131 and the total number of schools to 664.  This is the number of schools that CPS used as the school count throughout FY15. The FY15 Budget Book listed two SAFE schools with the expectation that a second SAFE school would open in FY15. The second SAFE school is expected to open in FY 16, so the number of such schools is flat from FY15. The FY15 Budget Book stated that there would be 15 ALOP programs in FY15, but three new ALOP programs failed to open. Since the number of ALOP programs does not affect the overall school count, the FY15 number of ALOP programs has been changed to 12.

The following school actions explain the change in school count between FY15 and FY16:

  • Three district-run schools – Attucks, Crane HS, and Dyett HS – completed their phase-outs and have closed.  However, Christopher, a former specialty school, has been reclassified as a traditional district-run school for budgeting purposes. (The reclassification of Christopher has also decreased the number of specialty schools from 12 to 11.) Therefore, we show a net reduction of two district-run schools for FY16.
  • Three charter schools closed after FY15, including ASPIRA - Ramirez HS, Catalyst - Howland, and Ford HS. Two charter schools are expected to open in FY16, including ASPIRA - Business & Finance HS and Moving Everest. This results in a net decrease of one charter school, changing the count from 131 to 130.
  • Although the second SAFE school did not open in FY15, it is expected to open during FY16, and so it remains in the school count.
  • One new ALOP campus is expected to open in FY16, bringing the number of programs up from 12 to 13.

School Budget Overview

The FY16 budget contains more than $3.7 billion budgeted at school units, including almost $2.1 billion budgeted for core instruction at 660 schools.  The following tables show fund and position allocations by school type and funding category:


Table 5:  FY16 School Budgets, by School Type and Funding Category

FY16 School Budgets (in $000s) Core Instruction Diverse Learners Bilingual Early Childhood Other Programs Discretionary Operations Total
District Elementary 1,195,229 375,644 18,997 111,430 65,497 303,190 97,065 2,167,052
District High Schools 463,597 122,902 3,543 177 41,283 93,402 37,827 762,731
Charter/Contract 353,187 76,920 2,774 0 4,312 81,806 175,610 694,609
ALOP 18,197 3,486 37 0 206 3,563 9,515 35,005
Specialty 8,768 28,436 404 3,795 101 1,764 1,243 44,511
District Options 15,418 3,633 51 0 158 1,250 267 20,777
SAFE 825 570 0 0 1,007 78 959 3,440
Non-Public 0 0 0 0 258 0 0 258
Total 2,055,222 611,592 25,807 115,401 112,822 485,052 322,487 3,728,383


Table 6:  FY16 Positions in School Budgets, by School Type and Funding Category

FY16 Positions at Schools (FTEs) Core Instruction Diverse Learners Bilingual Early Childhood Other Programs Discretionary Operations Total
District Elementary 10,707.8 4,913.0 171.5 1,450.7 621.1 2,836.3 2,439.8 23,140.2
District High Schools 4,303.2 1,446.6 33.0 7.0 348.6 910.0 859.0 7,907.4
Charter/Contract 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 116.0 116.0
ALOP 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.0
Specialty 66.5 387.0 4.0 45.0 1.5 3.5 26.0 533.5
District Options 129.2 33.4 0.5 2.0 5.8 7.0 177.9
SAFE 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Non-Public 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Total 15,206.7 6,780.0 209.0 1,502.8 973.2 3,755.6 3,448.8 31,876.0

The following sections discuss Core Instruction Funding and Additional Funding Received by Schools, including funding for diverse learners, bilingual, early childhood, other programs, discretionary funds, and operations.

Funding for Core Instruction

Traditional District Schools

Traditional district schools are funded through Student Based Budgeting (“SBB”). The only district-run schools that do not fall in this category are the 11 specialty schools and four district options schools, which are discussed in later sections.

In the aggregate, funding for district-run schools is declining by more than $60 million – a 3.9 percent reduction compared with a 1.1 percent decrease in enrollment. The reason for this disparity is that many district-run schools with declining enrollment were held harmless from funding reductions in FY15. District-run schools kept almost $38 million of funding more than justified by the per-pupil rates and enrollment. Ending “hold harmless” accounts for almost two-thirds of the reduction in funding for district-run schools, with most of the remainder resulting from a reduction in overall student population.

The reduction in SBB funding does not affect district-run schools equally. Schools with stable or increasing enrollment that were not held harmless last year will generally see flat or increased SBB funds. Schools that were held harmless last year and are projected to have further declines in enrollment may see substantial reductions in funding.


Table 7:  SBB Funding at Traditional District Schools

Traditional District Schools FY15 20th Day FY16 Projected Change % Change
Number of schools 504 502 (2)
Number of K-12 students 309,046 305,412 (3,634) (1.11%)
SBB funding, in millions $1,538.9 $1,478.7 ($60.2) (3.91%)

District schools have budgeted approximately 91.8 percent of their SBB funds for teacher positions (including substitutes and extended day pay), 3.8 percent on educational support personnel, and 3.4 percent on non-personnel items. For the first time this year, schools were able to set aside funds specifically for unexpected contingencies, and they kept almost 1.0 percent of their funds in contingency accounts. The following table summarizes the positions that district schools have funded with their SBB funds. These positions do not include the foundation positions that all district schools receive – one principal, one counselor, and one clerk.


Table 8:  Positions (FTE’s) Budgeted by District Schools Using SBB Funds

Category Job Title FY15 Budget FY16 Budget
Teachers Teachers 12,517.6 12,068.4
Assistant Principals 510.8 515.8
School Counselors / Social Workers / Nurse 164.9 149.2
Coaches / Instructional Leaders / Other Teachers 34.3 27.2
Education Support Personnel Teacher Assistants 129.7 141.2
School Clerks 125.2 129.0
School Security Officers 70.6 67.7
School Clerk Assistants 49.1 49.7
Technology Coordinators 44.9 46.0
Guidance Counselor Assistants 32.5 36.5
Other Education Support Personnel 174.0 267.3
TOTAL 13,853.6 13,498.0

Charter/Contract Schools

Charter and contract schools are public schools managed by independent operators. First established in Chicago in 1997, they offer an alternative to traditional district-managed schools. Charter schools are approved and certified under the Illinois Charter School Law. Contract schools also are independently managed public schools with similar autonomies as charter schools in budget and curricular operations.

As outlined in Chart 1, CPS provides tuition to charter schools in two components:  SBB and non-SBB.  Together, these tuition amounts provide charter schools with an equitable share of the District’s general funds budget.


Chart 1:  Overview of CPS Operating Budget for Charter Funding

SBB is the largest portion of the general funds budget, and it is allocated to all schools under the SBB model, which uses the same funding formulas for district and charter schools. The General Funds budget also includes some funding categories that are considered district-wide shared obligations, such as the unfunded pension liability. Charters do not receive tuition funding based on these shared obligations. Funding for operations, security, central office expenses, and education support programs, which, for district-run schools, are paid-for through citywide spending, are paid to charter schools through a second category of funding called “non-SBB” funding. This ensures that charter school students receive an equitable share of this more centralized district school spending. Additionally, charter schools receive an equitable share of each categorical funding source, where applicable.  Finally, administrative fees are charged to charter schools, so that they will contribute equitably to district overhead costs.

In FY16, two new charter schools are expected to open, and three charter schools will close at the end of FY15, for a net decrease of one charter school. Enrollment at charter and contract schools is expected to increase by more than 2,000 students, or 3.4 percent.

However, general education tuition payments (SBB and non-SBB, less administrative fee) to charter and contract schools will increase by only $9.3 million in FY16 – less than 2 percent –as charter and contract schools are also affected by the ending of the “hold harmless.”  When district-run schools were held harmless in FY15, charter and contract schools received a per-pupil equivalent through an increase in their SBB rates. This “hold harmless equivalent” added $7.7 million of SBB funds to charter and contract schools in FY15, but will not be included in FY16 rates. Therefore, all charter and contract schools will experience a lower per-pupil rate in FY16 without the “hold harmless equivalent” added to their rate. Charter and contract schools with stable enrollment thus will see a reduction in SBB funding.


Table 9:  SBB and Non-SBB Tuition Funding at Charter/Contract Schools

Charter/Contract Schools FY1520th Day FY16Projected Change % Change
Number of schools 142 141 (1)
Number of K-12 students 59,710 61,763 2,053 3.44%
SBB funding, in millions $348.4 $353.2 $4.8 1.38%
Non-SBB funding, in millions $134.7 $139.5 $4.8 3.56%
Administrative fees (estimated), in millions ($15.8) ($16.1) ($0.3) 1.90%
Total general education tuition payments $467.3 $476.6 $9.3 1.99%

Alternative Learning Opportunity Programs (ALOP)

Alternative Learning Opportunity Programs provide different educational options for at-risk youth who are not currently enrolled in school. Since 2011, CPS has expanded partnerships with successful providers that specialize in working with off-track youth and more than doubled the number of available seats in options schools and programs.

In FY16, one new ALOP program is expected to open, for a total of 13 ALOP programs. In addition, 30 charter and contract schools and one district school serve the same population of at-risk youth who have dropped out of school and seek to return.


Table 10:  SBB and Non-SBB Tuition Funding at ALOP Programs

ALOP Programs FY1520th Day FY16Projected Change % Change
Number of programs 12 13 1
Number of K-12 students 2,675 2,966 291 10.9%
SBB funding, in millions $17.0 $18.2 $1.2 7.1%
Non-SBB funding, in millions $6.6 $7.3 $0.7 10.6%
Administrative fees (estimated), in millions ($0.8) ($0.8) ($0.0) 0.0%
Total general education tuition payments $22.8 $24.7 $1.9 8.3%

As with charter and contract schools, the ending of “hold harmless equivalent” funding means that general education funding to ALOP programs is expected to grow at a smaller percentage (8.3 percent) than the enrollment growth (10.9 percent).

Specialty Schools

Specialty schools serve primarily students with significant diverse learning needs, as well as three early childhood centers that have only pre-kindergarten students. Specialty schools include:

  • One K-8 school serving only students with severe and profound disabilities (Montefiore)
  • Three early childhood centers serving only pre-K students (Vick, Thomas, Stock)
  • Three early childhood centers serving pre-K students, but where a significant number of diverse learners remain enrolled at the school for primary grades (Blair, Beard, Rudolph)
  • Four high schools serving 100 percent diverse learners (Northside, Southside, Graham, and Vaughn).

Walter S. Christopher Elementary School, a K-8 school with approximately 50 percent general education classrooms and 50 percent diverse learner cluster programs, has been budgeted as a specialty school in the past, but is being funded through Student Based Budgeting in FY16.

In FY16, specialty schools will receive $8.8 million in funding for core instruction, which represents 19.7 percent of their overall budgets of $44.5 million. Core instruction funding is decreasing slightly from $9.1 million in FY15 (excluding Christopher).

The costs of these schools are significantly more than traditional schools when compared on a per-pupil basis to account for the specific needs of the diverse learners they serve.

District Options Schools

District options schools provide educational options to students in confinement, at risk of dropping out of school, or who have dropped out and wish to return. District schools include one school located at the Cook County Jail (York), one at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (Jefferson), one school serving pregnant women (Simpson), and one school serving students at risk of dropping out or returning dropouts (Peace & Education Coalition).

In FY16, district options schools will receive $15.4 million in funding for core instruction to serve an estimated 963 students. The amount of funding is largely unchanged from FY15. District options schools are significantly more expensive than traditional schools because of the special circumstances of their student populations.

SAFE Schools

SAFE schools provide an educational option to students who have been expelled from another CPS school due to violence. CPS has one SAFE school on the south side of the city, and is expecting to open a second SAFE school on the west side. SAFE schools are managed by an independent operator.

The SBB and non-SBB tuition cost for two Safe schools is $2.6 million, which is partially offset by a state Regional Safe Schools grant of approximately $1.0 million.

Additionsl Funding Received by Schools

Although funding for core instruction is typically the largest portion of a school’s budget, schools receive additional funding to meet specific student needs, including funding for diverse learners, bilingual students, early childhood students, other programs, discretionary funds, and school operations. See Appendix B for information on funding formulas for these allocations.

Diverse Learners

Schools receive special education teachers and special education aides (typically teacher assistants, special education classroom assistants and child welfare attendants) based on the number of minutes of specialized instruction that must be provided to the school’s special education students, as identified in their Individualized Education Program (IEP). In FY16, more than 100 schools are participating in the “All Means All” pilot, which provides diverse learner funding on a per-pupil basis for their diverse learners.


Allocations are determined by the Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services. In the FY16 budget, a total of $611.6 million is budgeted for diverse learners in school units, including 3,620 teachers and 3,157 paraprofessionals.


Bilingual Education

Schools receive supplemental bilingual education teachers and per-pupil funds based on their number of English language learner (ELL) students.  There are two programs:  Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE), for schools that have 20 or more ELL students of the same language background, and Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI), for schools that have fewer than 20 ELL students of the same language background. The Office of Language and Cultural Education (OLCE) tracks ELL students and allocates supplemental bilingual teachers and funds to schools.


The FY16 budget contains $25.8 million in supplemental funding to schools, including 209 supplemental bilingual education teacher FTE’s. Bilingual education is supported by dedicated state and federal funding.


Early Childhood

The FY16 budget contains $115.4 million in funding for early childhood programs at 356 elementary schools. Early childhood programs serve pre-kindergarten students, usually ages 3 and 4, and are funded from both a state grant (Pre-School for All) and federal Head Start funds. This amount also includes $10.0 million of Title I funding that is used for 14 child-parent centers, and $4.6 million for tuition-based pre-K programs at 12 schools.


CPS also provides funding to community-based providers for early childhood programs, as described more fully in the Early Childhood department narrative, but this funding is not reflected in school budgets.


Other Programs

Some schools receive teaching positions or other additional funding for specific programs that are run at those schools.  The funding source for these programs is the General Fund. Details on these programs are found in that program’s narrative.  Significant programs include:


Table 11:  Board Funded Programs

Board-Funded Program Positions Budget ($ millions)
FY15 Ending FY16 Budget Change FY15 Ending FY16 Budget Change
Magnet Schools 163.4 150.4 -13.0 $17.5 $16.5 ($1.0)
JROTC 159.0 145.0 -14.0 $16.9 $15.6 ($1.3)
International Baccalaureate 130.2 109.7 -20.5 $13.2 $11.4 ($1.8)
Magnet Cluster Programs 101.0 96.0 -5.0 $11.1 $10.5 ($0.6)
Selective Enrollment HS 42.0 34.0 -8.0 $4.7 $4.0 ($0.7)
Montessori Programs 52.0 54.0 2.0 $3.6 $3.6
Critical Language Initiative 32.0 32.0 $3.0 $3.1 $0.1
STEM* 44.0 38.0 -6.0 $4.8 $3.2 ($1.6)
Regional Gifted Centers 35.0 21.4 -13.6 $3.6 $2.4 ($1.2)
Classical Schools 21.0 13.4 -7.6 $2.5 $1.6 ($0.9)
Regional Gifted Centers ELL 7.0 7.0 $0.7 $0.7
International Gifted 7.0 2.0 -5.0 $0.7 $0.2 ($0.5)
Academic Centers 1.0 1.0 $0.1 $0.1
Totals 794.6 703.9 -90.7 $82.4 $72.9 ($9.5)

*Includes grant funding for Early College STEM high schools. All other programs are supported with general funds.

Discretionary Funds


Supplemental General State Aid (SGSA) is part of the General State Aid that the district receives from the State of Illinois. SGSA funds are distributed to schools in proportion to the number of students enrolled who are eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunch under federal statutes.

CPS is required to distribute $261 million in SGSA funds each year. SGSA funds are initially distributed based on an estimated count of low-income students at each school, but the final SGSA amount will be adjusted based on 20th day enrollment. See Appendix B for important changes in the 20th day adjustment process in FY16.

The FY16 budget includes $259.8 million of SGSA funds budgeted at schools. The remaining $1.2 million remains in contingency, awaiting 20th day SGSA adjustments.

Unspent SGSA funds at a school at the end of the year carry over to the next fiscal year. In recent years, CPS has made an initial distribution of carryover funds in July based on end-of-year spending estimates. This initial distribution gives schools a substantial portion of their SGSA carryover before the beginning of the school year, in order to plan and make initial outlays for academic programs early in the year.

Carryover dollars are not usually included in a school’s budget because the budget is normally released before the end of the previous financial year. This year, however, the budget process was delayed significantly enough that SGSA carryover amounts could be determined before the budget was completed, therefore allowing the carryover dollars to be included as part of the SGSA funding in school budgets.

Title I of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act provides funds to schools with high concentrations of low-income children to provide supplementary services for educationally disadvantaged students. Approximately 85 percent of CPS schools qualify for Title I discretionary funding. The FY16 budget contains $200.0 million in Title I discretionary funding for CPS schools.

Schools use these dollars to fund additional teacher positions, as well as other supplemental services. For FY16, district schools allocated 56.5 percent of their SGSA funds to teachers, 28.1 percent to other non-teaching positions, and 15.4 percent on non-personnel costs. For Title I, they allocated 72.3 percent to teachers, 13.3 percent to other non-teaching positions, and 14.4 percent to non-personnel costs. Table 12 shows teaching positions funded in this way.


Table 12:  Teacher FTEs Obtained with School Discretionary Funds

Teacher FTEs Obtained with Discretionary Funds FY15 Budget FY16 Budget
SGSA 1,172.7 1,305.3
Title I 899.8 1,097.8
Total 2,072.5 2,403.1

Non-Education Expenses

Schools have received additional positions, services and funding for various operational expenses. Many of these positions are now managed centrally, rather than in schools, to gain district-wide efficiency and savings. Among the positions now managed centrally are bus aides, engineers, and custodians. In FY16, only the following non-education funding appears in schools budgets:

  • Security: School security officers and security aides are assigned to schools by the Office of Safety and Security.  Security positions are budgeted at the schools.
  • Food Service: This includes the labor costs of the lunchroom staff; the food costs required to provide lunch and breakfast, are budgeted centrally.

Please refer to the department narratives for more details about each of these operational areas.


Private Schools

Students, teachers, and parents of private schools students are entitled to federal support through No Child Left Behind (NCLB), such as Title I, Title II, and Title III, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). CPS must set aside a share of the federal funds it receives to make services available to eligible private school students, teachers and parents. However, these funds are not paid directly to the private schools, but CPS instead operates these programs on behalf of these eligible students, teachers and parents.


Each year, CPS oversees and manages services for approximately 60,000 students in 240 private schools totaling approximately $21 million. In addition, we oversee services for children who attend seven residential sites that specialize in serving children under the guardianship of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.


The following chart shows the allocations directed to private schools for each of the federal programs. Funding is a proportionate share of funds based on the number of eligible students in each private school compared to the CPS neighborhood school whether those students live. FY16 amounts are projections; the final amounts will be determined only after the district’s FY16 application is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education.


Table 13:  FY16 Budget for Private School Programs

Federal Program FY14 Budget FY15 Budget FY16 Budget
Title I (Improving Academic Achievement of Disadvantaged Students) $12,390,090 $13,594,638 $15,265,523
Title IIA (Improving Teacher Quality) 2,134,182 5,097,615 3,900,000
Title III (English Language Learners) 357,942 314,254 300,000
Individual Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 1,153,621 2,063,309 1,771,519
Total $16,035,835 $21,069,816 $21,237,042


District-run schools are organized into networks, which provide administrative support, strategic direction, and leadership development to the schools within the network.

Networks are led by network chiefs, who are responsible for building effective schools with strong leaders by developing a professional development plan, collecting and assessing data to drive interventions, collaborating on best practices with other networks and enhancing community and parental involvement. Networks are supported by deputy chiefs, data strategists, instructional support leaders for each content area, and administrative support. Each network also has a Family and Community Engagement Coordinator and a Specialized Services Administrator, although these positions appear in the budget for the Family and Community Engagement and the Office of Diverse Learners, respectively. All network chiefs and their offices report to the Office of Network Support.  


There are 13 networks that manage schools in various different geographic regions of the city. All networks are K-12, managing both elementary schools and high schools. In addition, the Office of Strategic School Support Services (OS4), the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), and Service Leadership Academies also function as networks. Schools managed by OS4 or AUSL, as well as the six military academies, do not belong to any of the 13 geographic networks.


Table 14:  Current Network Structure

Network City Planning Zones
1 Sauganash, Reed-Dunning, Albany Irving
2 Ravenswood
3 Austin, Belmont-Cragin
4 Logan, Lincoln Park
5 Humboldt Park, Garfield, West Humboldt, North Lawndale
6 Near North, Near West, Loop, Bridgeport, Chinatown
7 Pilsen, Little Village
8 McKinley Park
9 Bronzeville, Hyde Park, Woodlawn
10 Beverly, Midway, Chicago Lawn, Ashburn
11 Englewood, Auburn-Gresham
12 Chatham, South Shore
13 Far South, Far East
Service Leadership Academies

In FY16, network chiefs were given more control over their budgets. In the past, each network’s budget consisted mostly of position allocations, with only a small part of a network’s budget as discretionary.  In FY16, network chiefs were given control over their entire budget, and they were responsible for determining the optimal combination of staffing and non-personnel allocations for their individual network.

Funds were not distributed equally to the 13 geographic networks. Each network was given a foundation allocation, but additional dollars were given to networks with higher poverty levels and/or higher concentrations of low-performing schools. Table 15 shows the FY16 budgets for each network:


Table 15:  FY16 Network Budgets

Network Personnel Non-Personnel FY16 Budget
1 $1,100,048 $35,629 $1,135,677
2 1,046,284 58,095 1,104,379
3 1,381,681 76,615 1,458,296
4 978,471 130,434 1,108,905
5 1,220,693 87,860 1,308,553
6 1,128,549 37,672 1,166,221
7 1,079,136 192,085 1,271,221
8 1,190,695 76,570 1,267,265
9 1,138,689 156,780 1,295,469
10 876,059 233,128 1,109,187
11 1,584,094 18,008 1,602,102
12 1,118,193 183,298 1,301,491
13 1,322,785 (39,816) 1,282,969
Total $15,165,377 $1,246,358 $16,411,735

Overall, network budgets have been reduced significantly in FY16. Networks chose to close positions totaling $2.3 million, and they reduced their allocation for hourly and overtime salary and for non-personnel expenses by $1.6 million. All non-personnel costs are funded through general education funds, while positions are funded through general education, Title I and Title II funds.


Table 16:  Total Budgets for 13 Networks

Network Budgets (in millions) FY14 FY15 FY16
Regular positions $20.4 $17.0 $14.7
Hourly/overtime salary and non-personnel $4.2 $3.6 $2.0
Expected vacancy savings $0.0 $0.0 ($0.3)
Total $24.6 $20.6 $16.4

Page Last Modified on Saturday, May 27, 2017