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Budget 2021

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

In the midst of a global pandemic, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) continues to focus on what matters most to our families—providing a high-quality education for our students. With help from supportive families, innovative educators, and dedicated community partners, we are committed to ensuring our students can continue to learn and thrive.

The proposed FY2021 budget balances the unique needs of today’s learners with the future we see for our students after the era of COVID-19. To ensure schools and students have the resources and supports they need during this challenging times, we are investing $75 million to purchase additional computing devices for children who still need them, provide free meals for CPS families in need, and purchase face masks, cleaning supplies, and additional materials that schools will need if it is deemed safe for in-person learning to begin this year. This is on top of the City’s commitment to connect 100,000 students to high-speed internet at no cost through the Chicago Connected initiative and our efforts to distribute 128,000 devices to students this past spring. With equity at its core, the FY2021 budget is fully aligned to the commitments established by our Five-Year Vision––academic progress, financial stability, and integrity. The budget reflects our district’s continued financial stability and invests responsibly in the programming, technology, staffing, and infrastructure that we know drive student success.

As part of a multi-year commitment from Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and CPS leadership to give families and school communities platforms for providing feedback on improving equity within schools, the FY2021 budget was shaped by an extensive public engagement process that included a series of both school funding and capital investment meetings. This engagement effort also gave rise to a diverse School Funding Working Group that has provided CPS with a series of short and long-term recommendations to promote equity and better support our school communities.

With more than $4 billion designated for school budgets, and new investments of over $125 million from last school year, we are confident that the following investments will move us toward our goal of providing a high-quality education for every child, no matter their race, zip code, or country of origin. In the year ahead:

  • CPS is increasing its investment in Equity Grants to $44 million, meaning that 255 of our highest-need schools will receive additional funding to help ensure they can offer their students the same world-class education as their peers across the city.
  • We are also providing the largest-ever one-year increase in special education funding to ensure our diverse learners have the supports and resources they need to reach their full potential.
  • For the second consecutive year, we offered school leaders and their communities the opportunity to apply for academic programs that best suit their needs. As a result of this application process, CPS is investing $18 million over the next six years to provide students in 22 schools with new programming such as STEM, International Baccalaureate, dual language, and personalized learning.
  • And to ensure we are meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of every child, CPS will bring the number of nurses, social workers, and special education case managers in our schools to an all-time high.

In addition to an increase in school funding, the FY2021 budget includes $653 million in guaranteed capital spending. The following investments ensure our commitment to equity in the long term while providing our students with the resources they need to begin the school year learning at home:

  • Nearly $306 million to address facility needs at the school buildings  that need them most. Projects include rebuilding roofs and mechanical structures, stabilizing chimneys, and replacing fire alarms to ensure our school buildings remain safe, modern learning environments for years to come.
  • $100 million to develop new preschool classrooms throughout the city, moving us closer to our goal of providing universal Pre-K for all 4-year-olds.
  • $30 million to achieve our goal of providing a modern science lab in every CPS high school.
  • $22 million to build and renovate spaces that will support new, high-quality academic programs.   
  • $20 million to improve ADA accessibility in our schools, which is part of a multi-year, $100 million investment to make the first floor of every CPS school accessible to people with disabilities.

Our proposed budget for FY2021 gives school communities the resources they need to continue their incredible academic progress, even during these unprecedented times. We are confident these investments will meet the needs our children face today while setting them up for continued success in years to come.

Sincerely,

Janice K. Jackson signature

Janice K. Jackson, EdD
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools

Public Hearing on Proposed FY2021 Budget

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

Budget Hearing
Hearing time: 6:00PM – 8:00PM

CPS staff, families, and community members are invited to attend this virtual public hearing discussing the district's proposed 2021 fiscal year budget.

Where:
Online: www.cpsboe.org (recommended)

Phone:  312-989-7313

Additional Information is available at https://cpsboe.org.

Hearing Presentation

Hearing Video

Operating budget hearing transcript

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

Budget Hearing
Hearing time: 4:00PM – 6:00PM

CPS staff, families, and community members are invited to attend this virtual public hearing discussing the district's proposed 2021 fiscal year budget.

Where:
Online: www.cpsboe.org (recommended)

Phone:  312-989-7313

Additional Information is available at https://cpsboe.org.

Hearing Presentation

Hearing Video

Operating budget hearing transcript

Public Hearing on FY2021 Capital Plan

Wednesday, August 19th 2020

Capital Plan Hearing
Hearing time: 12:00PM – 2:00PM

CPS staff, families, and community members are invited to attend this virtual public hearing discussing the district's 2021 fiscal year Capital Plan.

Where:
Online: https://www.cps.edu/about/finance/capital-plan/capital-plan-fy2021/ (recommended)

Phone: 773-841-2362

Thursday, August 20th 2020

Capital Plan Hearing
Hearing time: 2:30PM – 4:30PM

CPS staff, families, and community members are invited to attend this virtual public hearing discussing the district's 2021 fiscal year Capital Plan.

Where:
Online: https://www.cps.edu/about/finance/capital-plan/capital-plan-fy2021/ (recommended)

Phone:  773-841-2362

Friday, August 21st 2020

Capital Plan Hearing
Hearing time: 3:30PM – 5:30PM

CPS staff, families, and community members are invited to attend this virtual public hearing discussing the district's 2021 fiscal year Capital Plan.

Where:
Online: https://www.cps.edu/about/finance/capital-plan/capital-plan-fy2021/ (recommended)

Phone:  773-841-2362

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