FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, February 29, 2016
For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
CHICAGO – Without a solution for funding schools fairly from Springfield, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) on Monday was forced to take the next step in stabilizing its finances with midyear cuts to eliminate $85 million from school budgets. The reductions will come through layoffs, closing vacant positions, reallocating funds held in reserve, and changing programs. Next year, the reductions will amount to $120 million on an annualized basis.
In an unprecedented move, CPS principals received mid-year budget reductions earlier this month. At that time, CPS directed principals to do everything possible to prevent teacher layoffs. Working with budgeting and finance staff since last year, many principals planned ahead, keeping contingency funds in their school bank accounts. Those funds were used to shelter their schools from the most painful reductions.
A total of 62 employees throughout the District will receive layoff notices, including 17 teachers. Employees include 43 full-time employees and 19 part-time employees. A full list of school-by-school budget impacts will be released later today.
“The fact that these cuts needed to happen in the first place is unfortunate for our principals, teachers and – most of all – our students,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “Our objective is to secure fair funding for our students, bring Illinois up from last in the country for education funding and work with Springfield to start treating students in poverty fairly, so our students get the education they deserve. These painful cuts are not what we want to do, but they are critical to keeping our school doors open.”
Along with administrative cuts to the District’s bureaucracy and other announced cuts, these reductions are part of the District’s plan for long-term structural changes that will help close the $1.1 billion deficit next fiscal year and address cash flow challenges in the current fiscal year.
The District also used Title I and Title II grant funds to continue some functions at schools and mitigate some of the cuts. As a result of shifting Title I and Title II funds that must be used to address poverty, schools with high populations of low-income students will see the least impact to their budgets. Approximately $41 million in Title I and Title II funds were redirected to schools, instead of being used as funds that are directed by the Central Office for programmatic funding or held in reserves.
- CPS reduced the per-pupil funding rate under Student-Based Budgeting (SBB) by 4.87 percent. The base per-pupil rate was reduced from $4,390 to $4,176, a reduction of $214. In this school year, that will mean approximately $85 million in savings.
- In order to reduce the impact of SBB reductions on the classroom, district-run schools are receiving an additional $41 million in Title I and Title II funding. The district secured approval from the Illinois State Board of Education.
- Charter schools lost $13.8 million of SBB funding, and the entire amount of the reduction would be taken from their fourth quarter payment in April.
Chicago Public Schools serves 392,000 students in 660 schools. It is the nation's third-largest school district.