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Schools and Networks 2020

Update (11/5/2019)

The text below reflects the FY2020 original budget that was approved by the Board of Education on August 28, 2019. For details on the FY2020 amended budget, please follow this link. Additionally, the amended budget information is reflected in the Interactive Reports feature found on the left-hand toolbar.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is building on the district’s record-setting progress by investing $3.7 billion in school-level funding in FY2020.

FY2020 is the seventh year that CPS has used Student-Based Budgeting (SBB) to fund schools. SBB allocates funds to schools on a per-pupil basis, which helps ensure that funding is fair and equitable, as dollars follow students.

CPS is increasing the SBB rate by 2.5 percent in FY2020 to support academic programming and higher teacher salaries. The base SBB rate for FY2020 is $4,506.93 per pupil, compared to $4,397.00 in FY2019.

In addition to increasing the SBB rate, CPS is increasing per-student funding allocations for students from low-income households. To ensure schools can effectively support their highest-needs students, CPS is increasing the Supplemental Aid allocation (from $910 in FY2019 to $920 in FY2020) and maintaining total school-based Title I funding — despite declining enrollment — by raising the average per-pupil Title 1 allocation (from $853 to $887). CPS is also providing $31 million in school-based Equity Grants to support 219 elementary and high schools that are experiencing continuously declining enrollment. Together, these investments will provide high quality instructional supports and resources to district schools and ensure that schools with the greatest needs are appropriately supported.


CPS school budgets are based on student enrollment and demographics. Please see Appendix A for more information.

Budgets for SY2019–20 are based on each school’s 20th day enrollment during SY2018–19. Funding schools based on prior-year enrollment ensures that schools will not see a budget reduction in the fall, even if enrollment declines. However, if a school’s enrollment in the fall of SY2019-20 exceeds 20th day enrollment from the fall of SY2018–19, they will receive additional funding to support additional students. This model allows schools to plan confidently for the year ahead without concern for potential budget reductions and provides school-based staff greater certainty about their positions in the coming year.

Table 1: FY2019 Enrollment by School Type Used to Set FY2020 School Budgets
School Type FY2019 20th Day Enrollment
Pre-K K-12 Total
Traditional District-Run Schools 16,301 280,451 296,752
Charter Schools 286 56,771 57,057
Contract Schools 0 2,540 2,540
District Specialty Schools 1,081 1,051 2,132
District Options Schools 0 510 510
ALOP/SAFE 0 2,323 2,323
Total District Enrollment 17,668 343,646 361,314

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 toward 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 are 642 schools in FY2020, two fewer than FY2019. Table 2 provides the school count by type.

Table 2: Number of CPS Schools by School Type, FY2019 and FY2020
School Type Description FY2019 FY2020
Traditional district schools District-run schools funded through Student Based Budgeting 499 500
Charter schools Public schools managed by independent operators and certified under state charter law 121 118
Contract schools Public schools managed by independent operators under a contract with the district 9 9
District specialty schools District-run schools that primarily serve students with significant diverse learning needs or early childhood students. 10 10
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 1 1
Total schools   644 642
ALOP programs Programs managed by independent operators that provide educational options for students who have dropped out of school and seek to return 10 8

The following table explains the change in school count between FY2019 and FY2020.

Table 3: School Openings and Closings Between FY2019 and FY2020
School Short Name Description Change
Traditional District Schools
ALCOTT HS Split of Alcott (previously K-12) into ES and HS +1
TEAM ENGLEWOOD Closed School -1
Net Change in Traditional District Schools +1
Charter Schools
URBAN PREP - WEST Revocation Approved by Board -1
YOUNG WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP Voluntary Closure Approved by Board -1
KWA ME NKRUMAH Non-Renewal Approved by Board -1
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO - WOODSON Voluntary Closure Approved by Board -1
ART IN MOTION New School +1
Net Change in Charter Schools -3
Total Net Change in Schools -2
ALOP Programs
BRIDGESCAPE - BRAINERD Contract Expired -1
BRIDGESCAPE - ROSELAND Contract Expired -1
Net Change in ALOP Programs -2

School Budget Overview

The FY2020 budget contains more than $3.8 billion budgeted at school units. The following tables show fund and position allocations by school type and funding category:

Table 4: FY2020 Funding in School Budgets, by School Type and Department ($ in thousands)
School Type SBB Diverse Learners Bilingual Early Childhood Other Programs Title I & Supplemental Aid Operations Total
District Elementary $1,140,240 $435,986 $24,174 $160,084 $77,541 $268,276 $102,322 $2,208,623
District High Schools $481,303 $146,875 $5,059 $0 $40,310 $92,416 $41,017 $806,980
District High Schools $481,303 $146,875 $5,059 $0 $40,310 $92,416 $41,017 $806,980
Charter/Contract $338,038 $86,749 $3,086 $0 $217,356 $81,399 $4,122 $730,750
ALOP $9,816 $1,715 $109 $0 $5,819 $2,888 $0 $20,347
Specialty $0 $32,260 $563 $8,580 $9,054 $1,731 $1,331 $53,519
District Options $0 $3,566 $0 $0 $6,216 $11,133 $281 $21,196
SAFE $30 $30 $0 $0 $1,021 $108 $0 $1,189
Total $1,969,427 $707,181 $32,992 $168,663 $357,317 $457,951 $149,073 $3,842,604


Table 5: FY2020 Positions in School Budgets, by School Type and Department (FTEs)
School Type SBB Diverse Learners Bilingual Early Childhood Other Programs Title I & Supplemental Aid Operations Total
District Elementary 10,115.0 5,558.0 341.0 1,973.0 804.0 2,426.0 2,438.0 23,665.0
District High Schools 4,294.0 1,659.0 67.0 0.0 350.0 834.0 851.0 8,055.0
Charter/ Contract 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 108.0 108.0
ALOP 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Specialty 0.0 449.0 10.0 102 9.0 5.0 28.0 603.0
District Options 12.0 32.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.0 6.0 53.0
SAFE 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Total 14,451.0 7,698.0 418.0 2,075.0 1,163.6 3,268.0 3,431.0 32,504.0

The following sections discuss funding for core instruction and additional funding received by schools, including funding for diverse learners, bilingual, early childhood, other programs, discretionary funds, and operations.

Funding for Core Instruction(SBB)

Traditional District Schools

Traditional district schools are funded through SBB. The only district-run schools that do not fall in this category are the ten specialty schools and four district options schools, which are discussed in later sections.

In addition to increasing the SBB rate for all schools, CPS provided Equity Grants for FY2020, which allocate an additional $30.7 million for district-run schools with low enrollment. This supplemental funding is being provided to help ensure all schools, especially those serving a vulnerable student population, are able to offer high-quality academics in the 2019-20 school year.

In the aggregate, SBB funding for district-run schools is decreasing by $15 million from the 20th day of FY2019. While aggregate SBB funding is down in FY20, total funding for schools has increased due to supplemental funding targeted at the district’s highest-need schools.

Table 6: FY2020 Schools and Enrollment at Traditional District Schools
Traditional District Schools FY2019 20th Day FY2020 Budgeted Change % Change
Number of schools 499 501 2 0.4
Number of K-12 students 284,376* 279,571 $(4,805) (1.69)
SBB funding, in millions $1,372 $1,357 $(15) (1.09)

*Although school budgeting for FY2020 is based on 20th day enrollment from FY2019, a small number of schools are budgeted at higher enrollment counts if their school's enrollment is expected to increase as a result of a district initiative.

Charter and Contract Schools

Charter and contract schools are public schools managed by independent operators and offer an alternative to traditional district-managed schools.

SBB is the largest portion of the general funds budget, and it is allocated to charter and contract schools . The general funds budget also includes some funding categories that are considered district-wide shared obligations, such as the unfunded pension liability. Charter and contract schools do not receive tuition funding based on these shared obligations. Funding for operations, security, central office expenses, and education support programs are paid to charter and contract schools through non-SBB funding, rather than through citywide spending for district-run schools. This ensures that these schools receive an equitable share of centralized spending and of each categorical funding source, where applicable. Finally, administrative fees are charged to contract schools so they contribute equitably to district overhead costs. For more details on how contract schools will be funded in FY2020, please see Appendix B.

The base rate for non-SBB funding is $1,953 in FY2020.

Table 7: Projected SBB and Non-SBB Tuition Funding at Charter and Contract Schools
FY2020 Projections
Number of schools 117
Number of K-12 students (FY19 20th day count) 58,670
SBB funding, in millions $338.0
Non-SBB funding, in millions $121.1
Administrative fees (estimated), in millions $(13.8)
Total general education tuition payments, in millions $445.3

Alternative Learning Opportunity Programs (ALOP)

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

Four ALOP programs were not renewed by the Board of Education for FY2020, and two of those sites have been taken over by other providers to ensure students can continue to access quality ALOP programs. Twenty-eight charter and contract schools and three district-run schools serve the same population of at-risk youth who have dropped out of school and seek to return.

Table 8: Projected SBB and Non-SBB Tuition Funding at ALOP Programs
FY2020 Projections
Number of programs 10
Number of K-12 students (FY19 20th day count) 2,602
SBB funding, in millions $9.8
Non-SBB funding, in millions $5.8
Administrative fees (estimated), in millions $(0.5)
Total general education tuition payments, in millions $15.1

Specialty Schools

Seven specialty schools primarily serve students with significant diverse learning needs, and three early childhood centers serve only Pre-K students. Specialty schools include:

  • Three early childhood centers serving only Pre-K students (Vick, Thomas, Stock)
  • Three early childhood centers serving Pre-K students and a significant number of diverse learners enrolled in primary grades (Blair, Beard, Rudolph)
  • Four high schools serving 100 percent diverse learners (Northside Learning, Southside, Graham, and Vaughn).

In FY2020, specialty schools will receive $6.4 million in funding for core instruction, which represents 18.2 percent of their total budget of $35 million. The remainder of specialty schools’ budgets is for Pre-K and diverse learner programming specific to each school. This funding is provided by the Department of Early Childhood Education and the Office of Diverse Learner Support Services. To account for the specific needs of the diverse learners they serve, the costs of these schools are significantly higher than traditional schools when compared on a per-pupil basis.

District Options Schools

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

In FY2020, district options schools received a core allocation of $7.4 million for teachers and administrative positions. In addition, the schools received $7.5 million in supplemental Title I positions to help address their unique challenges.

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, which is managed by an independent operator. The SBB and non-SBB tuition cost for this SAFE school is $1.2 million, which is partially offset by a state Regional Safe Schools grant.

Additional 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, and school operations. See Appendix B for information on funding formulas for these allocations.

Diverse Learner Funding

A school’s FY2020 diverse learner allocations are based on the number of special education teachers and paraprofessionals needed to deliver the supports and services defined in their students’ individualized education plans. Initial allocations are determined by each school’s special education population as of March 2019. Allocations may be updated during the year in response to changes in student support needs.

Language and Cultural Education

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

The FY2020 budget contains $32.5 million in supplemental funding to schools, including 264 supplemental bilingual education teachers and coaches. Bilingual education is supported by local funding and dedicated state and federal funding.

Early Childhood

The FY2020 budget contains $273 million in funding for early childhood education and community-based programs. This includes $201 million allocated for 361 elementary schools, with $2.4 million budgeted for tuition-based Pre-K programs at district-run schools and $2.7 million of Title I funding for 19 child-parent centers.

Early childhood programs serve Pre-K students, usually ages 3 and 4, and are funded from both a state grant (Pre-School for All) and local funds. CPS also provides state grant 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.

To better meet family needs and ensure children are receiving services that will set the foundation for long-term success, CPS has expanded its investment in Early Childhood education in FY2020 and will provide an additional 123 full-day preschool classrooms in high-need communities. The expansion of full-day Pre-K is part of a four-year plan to provide all four-year-olds in Chicago with access to tuition-free early childhood education.

Other Programs

Schools that offer board-funded educational programming receive additional teaching positions or funding. All programs except for STEM are funded from general funds. Details on these programs are found in their respective departmental narratives. Significant programs are included in Table 9.

Table 9: Board Funded Programs
  Positions (FTEs) Budget ($ millions)
  FY2019 Budget FY2020 Budget Change FY2019 Budget FY2020 Budget Change
Magnet Schools 152.4 156.4 4.0 $18.1 $19.0 $0.9
JROTC 145.0 148.0 3.0 $15.5 $15.9 $0.4
International Baccalaureate 126.5 133.5 7.0 $14.6 $15.9 $1.3
Magnet Cluster Programs 100.0 106.0 6.0 $11.8 $12.6 $0.8
STEM* 50.0 57.0 7.0 $5.8 $6.7 $0.9
Selective Enrollment HS 35.0 35.0 0.0 $4.5 $4.5 0.0
Montessori Programs 54.0 46.0 $(8.0) $4.0 $3.4 $(0.6)
Critical Language Initiative 30.0 30.0 0.0 $3.2 $3.3 $0.1
Regional Gifted Centers 20.7 24.1 3.4 $2.4 $3.0 $0.6
Classical Schools 17.0 17.2 0.2 $1.9 $1.9 $0.0
Regional Gifted Centers ELL 7.0 7.0 0.0 $0.8 $0.8 $0.0
International Gifted 2.0 2.0 0.0 $0.3 $0.3 $0.0
Academic Centers 1.0 1.0 0.0 $0.1 $0.1 $0.0
Totals 740.6 763.2 22.6 $83.0 $87.4 $4.4

*Includes grant funding

Discretionary Funds

CPS schools receive two discretionary funding sources that provide targeted support to low-income students: Supplemental Aid and Title I.

Supplemental Aid (SA) funds are distributed to schools based on the number of students who are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals under the federal Child Nutrition Act of 1966 and the National School Lunch Act, as of the 20th day of the school year. In FY2020, CPS increased the rate from $910 per student to $920, providing over $221 million in total funding. SA follows the same spending rules as local funds, allowing greater flexibility in how funds are used.

Title I of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides funds to schools with high concentrations of low-income, educationally disadvantaged students who require supplementary services. Approximately 89 percent of CPS schools qualify for Title I discretionary funding. Even though the district’s enrollment has decreased, CPS is maintaining school-based Title I allocations in 2019-20, which is raising the average per-student Title I allocation from $853 to $887.

Research has shown that students from low-income households generally require additional resources to be successful, and the increase in SA and Title I per-student funding will help ensure all of our students have the support they need to reach their potential.

Operational Expenses

Schools receive additional positions, services, and funding for various operational expenses. In FY2020, the following operational 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 schools.
  • Food Service: This includes the labor costs of the lunchroom staff; the food costs required to provide lunch and breakfast are budgeted centrally.

Other operational expenses are managed by the Central Office to ensure district-wide efficiency and savings. Among the positions managed centrally are bus aides, engineers, and custodians. Please refer to the department narratives for more details about each of these operational areas.

Private Schools

Students, teachers, and parents of private/nonpublic schools are entitled to federal support through ESSA (Title I, Title II, Title III, Title IV) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). CPS must set aside federal funds to provide services to eligible private/nonpublic school students, teachers, and parents.

Each year, CPS oversees and manages nearly $30 million in services for approximately 60,000 students in 240 private schools. In addition, CPS oversees services for children who attend five residential sites for children under the guardianship of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

The following table shows the allocations for private/nonpublic federal programs. Funding is proportionate to the number of eligible students in each private school compared to the student’s designated CPS neighborhood school. FY2020 amounts are projections; the final amounts will be determined after the district’s FY2020 application is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Table 10: FY2020 Budget for Private School Programs
Federal Program FY2019 Budget FY2020 Projections
Title I (Improving Academic Achievement of Disadvantaged Students) $18,999,805 $20,519,625
Title II-A (Improving Teacher Quality) $2,942,957 $2,561,960
Title III (English Language Learners) $351,658 $417,260
Title IV-A $519,658 $1,905,881
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) $2,171,830 $1,480,974
Title I, Part D (Neglected) $507,839 $577,719
Total $25,493,747 $27,463,419


District-run schools are organized into networks, which provide administrative support, strategic direction, and leadership development to the schools within the network. In FY2019, CPS moved from a 13-network structure to a 17-network structure to better support the unique needs of both elementary and high schools. Under the revised structure, elementary schools remained in their current networks, and high schools were placed into four new networks.

Networks are led by network chiefs who are responsible for building effective schools with strong leaders. Network chiefs play an integral role in developing professional development plans, collecting and assessing data to drive interventions, supporting schools in developing and implementing their Continuous Improvement Work Plan, collaborating on best practices with other networks, and fostering community and parental involvement. Networks are supported by deputy chiefs, data strategists, instructional support leaders, and administrative personnel. High school networks have a designated network operations manager, data strategist, and shared executive assistant.

Each network also has a social emotional learning specialist and a specialized services administrator, which appear in the budgets for the Office of College and Career Success and the Office of Diverse Learner Support and Services. All network staff report to the Office of Network Support.

There are instances where schools are exempt from network oversight. High-performing principals who are a part of the Independent School Principals (ISP) program have the autonomy to operate their schools with reduced oversight from Central Office. Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) schools are also not included in the 17-network structure.

Table 11: FY2020 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
14 High School Network 1 (shares planning zones with elementary networks 1, 2, and 4)
15 High School Network 2 (shares planning zones with elementary networks 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8)
16 High School Network 3 (shares planning zones with elementary networks 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11)
17 High School Network 4 (shares planning zones with elementary networks 9, 12, and 13)

In FY2020, consistent with prior years, each Network will receive a $55,000 non-personnel budget for administrative expenses and professional development. Each Network receives a foundation allocation of personnel, and additional positions may be allocated based on a variety of factors including number, types, and needs of schools served. Non-personnel costs are funded through general education funds, while positions are funded through general education, Title I, and Title II funds.

Table 12: FY2020 Network Budgets
Network Personnel Non-Personnel FY2020 Budget
1 $1,383,380 $55,000 $1,438,380
2 $1,346,276 $55,000 $1,401,276
3 $1,588,336 $55,000 $1,643,336
4 $1,362,859 $55,000 $1,417,859
5 $1,445,942 $55,000 $1,500,942
6 $1,485,035 $55,000 $1,540,035
7 $1,291,691 $55,000 $1,346,691
8 $1,486,210 $55,000 $1,541,210
9 $1,320,840 $55,000 $1,375,840
10 $1,382,434 $55,000 $1,437,434
11 $1,782,429 $55,000 $1,837,429
12 $1,262,663 $55,000 $1,317,663
13 $1,499,192 $55,000 $1,554,192
14 $389,971 $55,000 $444,971
15 $481,270 $55,000 $536,270
16 $547,077 $55,000 $602,077
17 $386,277 $55,000 $441,277
Total $20,441,882 $935,000 $21,376,882

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