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The FY2022 budget for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) includes a capital budget totaling $706.6 million of investments that will focus on priority facilities needs at neighborhood schools; mechanical systems which control the indoor environment and air-quality of our schools; full-day Pre-K expansions; ADA accessibility; restroom modernizations; student recreation and athletic improvements; site improvements and continued expansion of technology upgrades and other academic priorities. To support schools throughout the city, the FY2022 capital plan provides funding in five main areas: critical facility needs, interior improvements, programmatic investments, site improvements, and IT and security upgrades.

CPS is committed to promoting equitable access to high-quality school environments, and equity served as the foundation for the FY2022 capital plan. The district's Equity Office played an important role in developing the FY2022 capital proposal by helping to ensure that resources are distributed fairly and equitably across CPS schools so that all students can share in the district's record-setting progress. In addition, the FY2022 capital budget planning process included several enhancements, most notably around transparency and community outreach. The district conducted five public meetings and evaluated over 500 survey responses to gather community input during the capital plan development process. 

The CPS facility portfolio includes 522 campuses and 798 buildings. Our average facility age is over 80 years old, and the total CPS facility need is over $3 billion. Since FY2016, CPS has invested over $3.0 billion into capital improvements across the district. These projects include major renovations to ensure our schools stay warm and dry, facility construction to relieve overcrowding, security cameras to provide a safer environment for our children, and renovations to aid programmatic enhancements, among others. Additionally, CPS is investing $100 million over five years to ensure all CPS campuses are more accessible.  

The FY2022 capital budget is primarily funded by future issuance of general obligation bonds which are principally repaid by Evidence-Based Funding (EBF). A portion of the FY2022 budget is also funded by Federal ESSER III funds and potential outside resources as they become identified.

Full details on the FY2022 capital budget are available on the interactive capital plan website: The site allows users to quickly select projects by school, geographic area, type, and year. 

CPS’ capital plan aligns with the priorities outlined in the draft Educational Facilities Master Plan. Future projects will be determined by equity, assessed need, educational priorities, and available funding.

Sources and Uses

Below is a summary of the sources and uses of the $706.6 million FY2022 capital budget by funding and project type:

Table 1: Sources and Uses (millions)
Estimated Sources
Anticipated Bond Offerings and Other Capital Funds1 $554.2
Federal ESSER III Funding $100.0
Confirmed External Funding for Space to Grow and ITS Projects $17.4
Other Potential External Funding $35.0
Total FY2022 Capital Budget Sources $706.6
Estimated Uses
Facility Needs and Interior Improvements $328.6
Educational Programming $110.5
IT, Security, & Building System Investments $48.4
Site Improvements $37.6
ADA Accessibility $20.5
Mechanical Upgrades and Repairs $100.0
Capital Project Support Services $26.0
Potential External Funded Projects $35.0
Total FY2022 Capital Budget Uses $706.6

District Equity Index to Prioritize Investments

In recent years, the district has focused on prioritizing investments that promote equitable access to high-quality learning environments. To advance this work, the district will continue to utilize the Equity Index, a tool to help identify opportunity differences so that resources can be prioritized for the schools in greatest need. The equity index, which was informed by community feedback, was central to the development of this year’s capital plan.

Funding from Federal Government

CPS has a significant backlog of deferred critical facility needs. Mechanical system needs have a significant backlog and CPS intends to leverage funding from the district’s federal ESSER III allocation to address this critical facilities needs category. These systems control the indoor environment in our buildings and focus on core mechanical systems - essentially heating and cooling the buildings and associated electrical & plumbing infrastructure. With an average building age of 80, a lot of this infrastructure is original to the building. If one or more of these systems or equipment is obsolete and not working, it can cause potential air quality issues for the building which comes at the risk of impacting the health and wellness of students and staff. Each building’s system presents its own set of challenges when planning an upgrade or replacement, with projects taking up to two years to complete. Fixing these systems helps us provide learning environments that are safe, healthy, and comfortable for students and staff.

Utilizing the $100 million in federal funding, CPS is planning significant capital mechanical renovations at 17 campuses.

Priority Facility Needs at Neighborhood Schools

Every student deserves to access a neighborhood school that is warm, safe, and dry, and - in addition to the $100 million in federal funding for mechanical renovations - CPS is allocating $328.6 million in funding for critical maintenance projects and interior improvements. As part of our commitment to equity, the district is prioritizing renovations at neighborhood schools throughout the city to ensure all students can learn and grow in school buildings that support high-quality learning environments.

The FY2022 capital budget addresses the district’s priority renovation projects and most urgent facility needs. We will invest in 39 major roof and envelope projects and seven renovations to mechanical systems. Along with these projects, the funding will provide:

  • $206.6 million for priority roof, envelope, and mechanical projects;
  • $50 million for unanticipated emergency repairs;
  • $20 million for district maintenance priorities;
  • $20 million for modular refurbishment;
  • $10 million for masonry remediation;
  • $10 million for interior improvements;
  • $5 million for fire alarm system replacement;
  • $5 million for chimney stabilization; and
  • $2 million for critical temperature control system replacement.

Support for Students with Physical Limitations

We will invest $20.5 million to increase Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility in 33 schools as part of a multi-year program to ensure all CPS buildings have first-floor accessibility. Starting with the FY2021 Capital budget, CPS committed to spending $100 million over five years to improve accessibility of parking lots, main entrances, main offices, and public restrooms.

Expansion of Free Full-Day Pre-K

CPS is continuing to build on our commitment to provide free full-day Pre-K to all four-year-olds in Chicago. In FY2021, the district invested $100 million to complete classroom conversions and to renovate existing Pre-K classrooms. Building on this investment, the FY2022 capital plan includes $80 million to complete the remaining expansions and classroom conversions for the 2021–22 and 2022–23 school years.

Programmatic and Technology Investments to Build Upon School Success

The FY2022 budget prioritizes high-quality educational programming in neighborhoods throughout the city. CPS is investing $30.5 million in building modernization to ensure all schools are able to support 21st century learning environments, including: 

  • $20 million to renovate existing student recreation and athletic resources such as stadiums, athletic fields and natatoriums;
  • $10.5 million in building upgrades to support STEM, STEAM, IB, and world

    language programs at 7 schools. 

Site Improvements that Foster Learning

This year’s capital budget also includes $37.6 million to design and build new playgrounds, playlots, and school yards at over 30 schools across the city so that students can benefit from a well-rounded education that promotes healthy and active development.

IT, Security, and Building System Investments

In FY2022, we are also continuing our multi-year investment in the school Technology Modernization Program and high-speed internet for schools throughout the city. In FY22, the district is allocating $46.4 million to upgrade school network infrastructure to address equitable connectivity, replace aging hardware at schools, and upgrade our data warehouse and data backups.

Finally, to support student safety at every school, $2 million will fund new security equipment including cameras, intercom phones, alarms, and screening equipment.

Impact of FY2022 Capital Projects on Operating Budget

All projects considered for inclusion in the annual capital budget are analyzed for their projected impact on the district’s operating budget. Below we describe the capital project categories and their potential impact.

Facility Needs

Addressing facility needs helps the district reduce costs associated with frequent repairs to aging roofs, windows, and boiler systems, which are often funded through our general operating budget. This in turn frees up operating dollars that can be re-allocated for instruction, support, and other district expenses. In addition, by replacing roofs and mechanical systems with more energy efficient solutions, we may be able to reduce our energy consumption and other utility costs.

Educational Programming, Interior Renovations, and Site Improvements

Investments in educational programming that convert or improve existing space (e.g., new science labs, converted classrooms, upgrades for STEM) will have no appreciable impact on the operating budget because the district already accounts for the cost of maintaining these spaces. Investments in classroom technology will add operating expenses related to support and maintenance of the software and devices. 

Investments that require build-outs and add physical space to an existing building, such as an addition for new Pre-K classrooms or a new turf field, will add operating expenses for utilities, custodial services, engineering, and security.

IT and Security Infrastructure

Infrastructure, hardware, or software implementation projects will not trigger any additional operating costs in the short term. Ongoing support for software-based projects will be absorbed by current available staff. Internet connectivity infrastructure projects and new security equipment will potentially add additional costs to the operating budget for maintenance and repair as time goes on; however, we expect these costs to be limited as we fit the new equipment into our current maintenance and repair allocations.

Capital Project Support Services

This allocation of funds helps to support the management of the capital budget which includes reconciling invoices; managing project and construction timelines, and ensuring the effective design, implementation, and construction of various capital projects. These services are necessary to manage a complex capital program, conduct cost estimations, meet financial and management objectives, and plan for the next phase of the district’s capital plan.

Capital Projects Fund Activity

The Summary of Capital Projects Funds table (Table 2) shows capital revenues and capital outlays (expenses) to be incurred in FY2022, regardless of the year the project was appropriated. The Fund Balance (unspent revenues received in prior years) accounts for the difference in expected capital outlays versus revenues received. For example, if the district raised $400 million in bond proceeds during a fiscal year but only expensed $300 million in the same time period, the remaining $100 million would carry forward in the Fund Balance for use during the following fiscal year.

Table 2: FY2020 - FY2022 Summary of Capital Projects Funds (Millions)
  FY2020 Actual FY2021 Estimate FY2022 Estimate
Beginning-Year Fund Balance $716.7 $182.1 $204.6
Local $24.8 $5.0 $19.0
State $10.7 $14.1 $23.3
Federal $0.0 $1.0 $10.0
Interest & Investment Earnings $12.8 $2.0 $0.0
Total Revenue $48.3 $22.1 $52.3
Capital Outlay $583.4 $532.3 $583.8
Bond Proceeds $0.0 $532.2 $450.0
Sales of Capital Assets $0.4 $0.5 $0.0
End-of-Year Fund Balance $182.1 $204.6 $123.1

FY2022 local capital revenue of $19 million assumes $4 million in TIF-related project reimbursements and $10 million from other local funding sources such as aldermanic menu funds and the water reclamation district, and $5 million from CIT. The state revenue total of $23.3 million comprises $13.3 million in gaming revenue for new construction projects and $10 million in other potential state grants.

Federal contributions to the capital budget are $10 million; these contributions are driven by anticipated federal funding to support spending on school mechanical systems.

Table 3 outlines capital funds spent each fiscal year, by the year in which the funds were appropriated. For a more detailed view into FY2021 spending, CPS will publish a report by September 30, 2021, that offers a breakdown of funds by project, source, and other categories.

Table 3: FY2017 - FY2022 Capital Spending by Year (Millions)
  CPS Funds External Funds All funds
  Total Appropriations FY2017A FY2018A FY2019A FY2020E FY2021E FY2022E Estimated Remaining Appropriation
Prior Year/Other Expenditures   $131.3 $29.7 $5.2 n/a
FY2017 Capital Budget $847.8 $73.5 $211.5 $266.4 $127.0 $48.5 $35.0 $85.9 $0.0 $85.9
FY2018 Capital Budget $136.2   $50.7 $64.7 $4.3 $3.1 $2.7 $9.2 $1.5 $10.7
FY2019 Capital Budget $989.0     $276.7 $333.8 $174.5 $116.4 $53.7 $33.9 $87.6
FY2020 Capital Budget $820.6 n/a  $118.3 $211.2 $136.5 $128.3 $226.3 $354.6
FY2021 Capital Budget $758.0 n/a  $95.0 $211.2 $355.0 $96.8 $451.8
FY2022 Capital Budget $706.6 n/a  $0.0 $82.0 $472.2 $152.4 $624.6
Total Spend by Year   $204.8 $291.9 $613.0 $583.4 $532.3 $583.8 $1,104.3 $510.9 $1,615.2

A=Actual E = Estimated
Note: Actual and estimated spend and estimated remaining appropriation may not sum to “Total Appropriations” column if projects came in under budget or remaining appropriation was not needed.

Five-Year Capital Plan

CPS’ five-year capital plan will include further investments in deferred maintenance, targeted site improvements, and emergency projects. Future projects will be determined by assessed need, district educational priorities, and an equitable distribution of available funding. Starting with the investments being made in the FY2022 capital plan, CPS intends to target annual capital funding of approximately $550 million as part of its five-year capital investment strategy.

Table 4: Five-Year Capital Plan
Budget Category FY23 Budget FY24 Budget FY25 Budget FY26 Budget
Facility Needs $355.0 $355.0 $355.0 $355.0
Interior Improvements $10.0 $10.0 $10.0 $10.0
Programmatic Investments $120.0 $120.0 $120.0 $120.0
IT, Security, and Other Investments $12.0 $12.0 $12.0 $12.0
Site Improvements $30.0 $30.0 $30.0 $30.0
Capital Project Support Services $26.0 $26.0 $26.0 $26.0
Total Capital Plan $553.0 $553.0 $553.0 $553.0

  1. The Board currently expects that the proceeds of bonds will be applied to reimburse itself within 18 months after the later of (a) the date the original expenditure is paid, or (b) the date the Project is placed in service, but in no event more than three years after the original expenditure is paid.

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