Despite Springfield Uncertainty, CPS Committed to Opening on Time and Maintaining School Investments to Continue Academic Gains 

For Release:
Thursday, July 20, 2017                 

For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
Phone: 773-553-1620

CHICAGO – In the upcoming school year, Chicago Public Schools will open on time and ensure that resources remain invested in the classroom so that students can keep building on their academic progress.

“Governor Rauner is holding children across the state hostage as bargaining chips for his political agenda, but we won’t let Chicago children be used as pawns in his game,” said CPS Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool. “We will do what is necessary to keep our schools open and maintain the historic academic gains we have made these past few years, including continuing our efforts to reduce bureaucracy while investing money directly in classrooms.”

The Student Based Budgeting rate will increase to $4,290 per student, an increase of 5 percent from the $4,087 rate at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year. This SBB increase is intended to cover schools’ increased expenses, such as personnel costs, not new investments. In FY17, midyear funding adjustments were made when teachers received raises (accounting for approximately 3 of the 5 points of this increase) and non-personnel spending was frozen.

“Principals, teachers and families all want to focus on making sure their children get a great education, and these budgets provide schools with needed resources to continue to deliver on students’ improvements,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Chicago students are doing better than ever, and we are doing everything we can to provide the resources necessary for progress to continue.”

CPS projects a student population decline of approximately 8,000 students in the 2017-18 school year. Overall, district-run schools received $2.324 billion in funding from all major sources in FY17; they will receive $2.281 billion in FY18, a reduction of approximately $43 million. The vast majority of this reduction comes from the district’s projected decline in enrollment. However, other funding streams such as federal funds for poverty, will decline.

In cases where these funds are insufficient, CPS has proactively provided $5.6 million in program support and will reserve approximately an additional $4 million that can be allocated to schools on a case-by-case basis.

Reduced Federal Funds
Due to delays from the US Department of Education, the district has yet to receive FY18 federal Title I and Title II allocations from the Illinois State Board of Education.  However, it is anticipated that in the coming year, CPS will have about $40 million less in federal funds to distribute to both district-run and charter schools. This is due to a likely reduction in the overall amount of federal Title I and Title II funds going to school districts nationwide, declining CPS enrollment and a lower concentration of poverty in Chicago.

Special Education Funding
CPS continues to hold ongoing conversations with principals about changes to help better educate special education students, as well as make services more equitable and transparent. Based on feedback from principals and the community, CPS is making changes to special education funding in the coming school year, including adding more funds for additional teachers and paraprofessionals in cluster programs, which serve students with the most severe and profound disabilities. CPS will also ensure that students continue to be placed in the least restrictive environment possible, which is required by law and best practice.

At the request of principals, CPS will eliminate the 4 percent special education appeals holdback and distribute those funds to schools proactively at the beginning of the year. In addition, CPS will require that all funds designated for special education – including those that come from local sources, instead of state and federal sources – be used for special education supports and services.
To support the district’s highest need students, CPS will fund 34 new teaching positions across the city for cluster classrooms, which serve the district’s most severely disabled children. CPS will also fund an additional 68 paraprofessionals for cluster classrooms under the following approach.
  • For cluster students who are Severe or Profoundly disabled, CPS will ensure that for every 13 students in a classroom, there will be one teacher and three paraprofessionals, an increase of one paraprofessional from the previous year’s average.
  • For cluster students who are Mild-Moderately disabled, CPS will ensure that for every 13 students in a classroom, there will be one teacher and two paraprofessionals, an increase of one paraprofessional from the previous year’s average.
Detailed school budgets will be provided to the media at the end of the day, after all principals have received their budgets.

Page Last Modified on Thursday, July 20, 2017