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UPDATE (5/01/2023): CPS’ mission is to provide a high-quality public education for every child, in every neighborhood, that prepares each for success in college, career, and civic life. To support this mission, CPS’ capital planning strategy aligns with the priorities outlined in the Educational Facilities Master Plan. Future projects will be determined by assessed need, district educational priorities, and an equitable distribution of available funding. CPS’ five-year capital plan will include further investments in deferred maintenance, targeted site improvements, and emergency projects.

The Draft FY2024 Capital Plan for Chicago Public Schools will continue to build on the multi-year $644.5 million investment (including outside funding) made in the FY2023 capital plan.

For the FY2023 Capital Budget, CPS conducted extensive public outreach to determine the budget priorities and to determine the factors to consider for equitable distribution of capital funds.  This outreach included over 400 live participants and over 2,200 survey responses. CPS intends to build on this framework and remains committed to promoting equitable access to high-quality school environments, and equity will serve as the foundation for the FY2024 capital plan also. CPS has also completed the most recent round of biennial assessments in 2021-22. These assessments, supplemented by additional information from the CPS Facilities Department, are used to determine critical facility needs. The updated assessments will be posted on a centralized landing page on the CPS website in early May 2023. Further, the district's Equity Office continues to be an integral part of the capital planning process to ensure fair and equitable distribution of capital resources across CPS schools.

Building on the District’s commitment to community engagement and equity during the budgeting process, CPS held five virtual meetings in mid April to engage communities across Chicago on capital priorities as the district works to develop its draft FY24 Capital Plan. The meetings — which were hosted by the CPS Capital Department, Office of Equity, and Office of Family and Community Engagement (FACE) — were intended to provide communities with an understanding of the District’s capital planning process and collect public input to help the district prioritize critical capital needs. Presentation material including videos are posted here, along with the link to the FY24 capital survey:

Public input will be utilized to determine prioritization of capital budget categories and the public survey remains open until May 30th.

A link to the ongoing capital projects is included here for ready reference. These projects continue to prioritize critical capital needs which include roof, building envelope, mechanical, electrical and plumbing needs throughout the district. Also included are facility construction to relieve overcrowding and renovations to aid programmatic enhancements such as universal Pre-k program initiatives and Fine & Performing Arts, among others.

UPDATE (6/28/2022): The information below reflects the final FY2023 Budget as approved by the Board on June 22, 2022.

UPDATE (6/22/2022): The FY2023 Budget presented to the Board reflects a reduction of $120 million from the proposed budget detailed below. This funding was included in the initial Proposed FY2023 Budget for a new high school to service the communities around the Greater New South Area.

The information below will be updated to reflect this change once the FY2023 Budget is approved.

The FY2023 budget for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) includes a capital budget totaling $644.5 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; 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 FY2023 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 FY2023 capital plan. The District's Equity Office played an important role in developing the FY2023 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 FY2023 capital budget planning process included several enhancements, most notably around transparency and community outreach. The District conducted five public meetings and evaluated over 2,200 survey responses to gather community input during the capital plan development process. 

The CPS facility portfolio includes 522 campuses and 803 buildings. Our average facility age is over 82 years old, and the total CPS critical facility need is over $3 billion. Since FY2016, CPS has invested over $3 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 FY2023 capital budget is primarily funded by future issuance of general obligation bonds which are principally repaid by Evidence-Based Funding (EBF). (For more information, please see the Debt Management chapter of the budget book.) A portion of the FY2023 budget is also funded by Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds, state funding, and other outside resources as they become identified.

Full details on the FY2023 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 $644.5 million FY2023 capital budget by funding and project type:

Table 1: Sources and Uses ($ in Millions)
Estimated Sources Amount in Millions
Anticipated Bond Offerings and Other Capital Funds1 $480.7
Tax Increment Financing Funding $152.3
External Funding for Space to Grow $4.0
Federal E-Rate Funding $4.0
Other Potential External Funding $3.5
Total FY2023 Capital Budget Sources $644.5
Estimated Uses Amount in Millions
Facility Needs and Interior Improvements $368.5
Educational Programming $55.0
IT, Security, & Building System Investments $28.0
Site Improvements $77.7
ADA Accessibility $30.5
Mechanical Upgrades and Repairs $58.8
Capital Project Support Services $26.0
Total FY2023 Capital Budget Uses $644.5

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 Tax Increment Financing

CPS has a significant backlog of deferred critical facility needs so additional funding is always pursued in order to help mitigate some of this backlog. One of these outside funding sources is the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds, which are approved in a variety of categories.

Utilizing the $152 million in TIF funding, CPS is planning significant capital exterior envelope work, mechanical renovations, chimney stabilizations, fire alarm system replacement, playground replacement, and site improvements at 47 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 $152 million in TIF funding for exterior envelope work, mechanical renovations, chimney stabilizations, fire alarm system replacement, playground replacement, and site improvements - CPS is allocating $312 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 FY2023 capital budget addresses the District’s priority renovation projects and most urgent facility needs. We will invest in 17 major roof and envelope projects and 14 renovations to mechanical systems. Along with these projects, the funding will provide:

  • $87 million for priority roof, envelope, and mechanical projects;
  • $50 million for unanticipated emergency repairs;
  • $80 million for district maintenance priorities;
  • $20 million for modular refurbishment;
  • $10 million for masonry remediation;
  • $45 million for interior improvements;
  • $5 million for fire alarm system replacement;
  • $5 million for chimney stabilization; and
  • $10 million for mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) minor repair/replacement.

Support for Students with Physical Limitations

We will invest $30.5 million to increase Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility in 28 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 the accessibility of parking lots, main entrances, main offices, and public restrooms.

Programmatic Investments to Build Upon School Success

CPS is investing $20 million in student recreation and athletic resources, continuing the District’s stadium and swimming pool refurbishment program. The budget also includes $35 million of TIF funding in programmatic and facility needs investments at Dett ES.

Site Improvements that Foster Learning

This year’s capital budget includes $65.2 million to design and build new playgrounds, playlots, and school yards at over 50 schools across the city so that students can benefit from a well-rounded education that promotes healthy and active development. In addition, $12.5 million will be allocated to improve parking lots and replace turf fields.

IT, Security, and Building System Investments

In FY2023, we are also continuing our multi-year investment in the Technology Modernization Program and high-speed internet for schools throughout the city. In FY2023, the District is allocating $20 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, $8 million will fund new security equipment including cameras, intercom phones, alarms, and screening equipment.

Impact of FY2023 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 new construction, build-outs, or add physical space to an existing building, such as a science lab 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 FY2023, 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: FY2021 - FY2023 Summary of Capital Projects Funds ($ in Millions)
  FY2021 Actual FY2022 Estimate FY2023 Estimate
Beginning-Year Fund Balance $182.1 $188.7 $258.5
Local $12.7 $18.4 $59.5
State $17.5 $8.9 $28.3
Federal $7.6 $0.0 $0.0
Interest & Investment Earnings $1.1 $0.3 $0.0
Total Revenue $38.9 $27.6 $87.8
Capital Outlay $565.7 $498.2 $549.3
Bond Proceeds and Transfers In/(Out) $533.4 $540.4 $450.0
Sales of Capital Assets $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
End-of-Year Fund Balance $188.7
$258.5 $247.0

FY2023 local capital revenue of $59.5 million assumes $44 million in TIF-related project reimbursements, $10 million from other local funding sources such as aldermanic menu funds and the water reclamation district, and $5.5 million in Capital Improvement Tax revenues unpledged to existing bond issuances. The state revenue total of $28.3 million is comprised of $13.3 million in gaming revenue for new construction projects and $15 million in state reimbursements for approved capital projects.

Table 3 outlines capital funds spent each fiscal year, by the year in which the funds were appropriated. For a more detailed view into FY2022 spending, CPS will publish a report by September 30, 2022, that offers a breakdown of funds by project, source, and other categories.

Table 3: FY2018 - FY2023 Capital Spending by Year ($ in Millions)
Table 3 Empty Cell CPS Funds External Funds All funds
Table 3: Row two empty cell Total Appropriation FY2018A FY2019A FY2020A FY2021A FY2022E FY2023E Estimated Remaining Appropriation Estimated Remaining Appropriation Estimated Remaining Appropriation
Prior Year/Other Expenditures   $241.2 $271.6 $127.0 $41.3 $15.8 $6.5      
FY2018 Capital Budget $136.2 $50.7 $64.7 $4.3 $16.5 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
FY2019 Capital Budget $989.0   $276.7 $333.8 $191.6 $77.6 $12.9 $59.1 $37.3 $96.4
FY2020 Capital Budget $820.6     $118.3 $216.4 $45.3 $70.9 $133.8 $235.9 $369.7
FY2021 Capital Budget $758.0       $97.5 $276.9 $38.7 $306.0 $38.9 $344.9
FY2022 Capital Budget $706.6         $82.6 $251.4 $357.7 $15.0 $372.7
FY2023 Capital Budget $644.5           $169.0 $356.6 $118.9 $475.5
Total Spend by Year   $291.9 $613.0 $583.4 $563.3 $498.2  $549.3 $1,213.2 $446.0 $1,659.2

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 FY2023 capital plan, CPS intends to target annual capital funding of approximately $553 million as part of its five-year capital investment strategy.

Table 4: Five-Year Capital Plan ($ in Millions)
Budget Category FY2024 Budget FY2025 Budget FY2026 Budget FY2027 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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