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Reader’s Guide 2019

The Chicago Public Schools’ FY2019 Proposed Budget is the financial policy plan proposed to the Chicago Board of Education for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2019. The proposed budget is available to the public at The website contains the official budget document as well as an interactive site that allows users to access detailed reports on all dollars and positions in the district budget. Physical copies of the FY2019 Proposed Budget will also be on file with the Board Office at 1 North Dearborn, Suite 950, Chicago, Illinois 60602.

Budget Book Chapters

The FY2019 Proposed Budget includes narrative overviews of CPS programs, goals, financial policies, and procedures; a budget summary; and detailed financial tables. These chapters are accessible from the list of links on the left side of the screen on the homepage 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 CPS 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.

Schools and Networks:

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. It defines the various types of schools in Chicago, the demographics, and the programs provided to students. Additionally, the chapter outlines the Network management structure for district-run schools, which provides administrative support and leadership development to schools and school leaders.


Profiles of each Central Office department, including its mission and major programs, FY2019 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, funding streams, and projected future outlook.

Capital Budget:

The Capital Budget chapter describes CPS’ plan for major infrastructure investments. This chapter outlines the projected expenditures for multi-year projects and explains the impact of the capital budget on operating expenses. A separate capital plan website with more detailed information on all of the projects can be found at

Debt Management:

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.

Organization Chart:

This reflects the leadership and organizational structure for CPS.

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 fund types used by CPS: General Fund, Special Revenue Funds, Capital Projects Funds, and Debt Service Funds. CPS will continue to distinguish how funds are received and spent by using the following categories: General Budgeted Funds, School Generated Funds, State and Federal Grant Funds, Capital Projects Funds, and Debt Service Funds.

Cash Management:

This chapter provides detail about CPS’ projected cash flow throughout the fiscal year and explains its cash management strategies.


In this section, we have included answers to some typical questions about the Budget Book and our interactive 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.

Interactive Budget Reports

In addition to the budget book, CPS provides enhanced interactive budget reports that allow members of the public to view the entire operating budget and get more detail on any component of the budget.

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
  • Find My School, which lists all schools by network

The reports are designed to provide more detail as you scroll down the page. For example, if you search under “Budget by Unit,” the parent unit – or top-level departmental unit – three-year budget and expenditure detail is displayed first, followed by a three-year view of budgeted and ending full-time equivalent positions. 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. Code 1000, for example, pertains to all instruction-based expenditures. Select State Function Description to get a complete list of program names and numbers.

The "Find Your School Budget" 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.

The School Budget reports also allow you to drill down for more detailed information such as:

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