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Revenue

Chicago Public Schools’ finances continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The FY2023 revenue budget reflects the unanticipated and historic changes to revenue sources that are the result of the pandemic and recent market fluctuation and inflation. As a unit of local government, CPS’ sources of revenue are categorized by the level of government (local, state, and federal) that collects, distributes, or grants resources to the District. 

The largest share of local revenue comes from the Chicago Board of Education’s ability to tax residents on the value of their property. The stability of this revenue source is vital to the financial health and viability of the District. Property taxes are the most general and unrestricted funds allocated to CPS schools and departments. CPS’ ability to extend taxes is governed by the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law—PTELL—which limits the amount CPS can increase its property tax levy by either the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or five  percent, whichever is less. For FY2023 the relevant CPI has been calculated at seven percent, correlating with the impacts of inflation seen nationwide. This means that CPS’ increase to the property tax levy will be capped at five percent.  

The largest portion of state funding is allocated to CPS and other Illinois districts through Evidence-Based Funding, or EBF. The EBF model allocates additional funding through a tiering system that directs new investments in state education funding to districts most in need of resources. At the end of the recent state legislative session, the General Assembly passed a state budget that includes a $350.2 million increase in EBF funding. As an under-resourced district, CPS will see additional state funding in FY2023, and due to the EBF distribution construct, the additional amount will become the base for CPS’ appropriation in FY2024.

The federal government’s response to the pandemic through ESSER I, II, and III has allocated a historic level of federal funding to CPS. This one-time revenue has been budgeted to combat the effects of the pandemic on student achievement and well-being––and offset lost revenue and increased costs resulting from the pandemic. The federal aid packages have resulted in allocations totaling $2.8 billion over five fiscal years beginning in FY2020. Without this financial relief, it would not have been possible to manage the costs incurred from meeting the technological needs of remote instruction and ensuring school buildings are equipped to welcome back students and educators safely. 

Along with this one-time relief, President Biden’s FY2023 budget request for the Department of Education increases Title I funding by $20 billion and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funding by $700 million. The final appropriations will depend on congressional action.

The following section details the factors, assumptions, and trends that are the basis of the FY2023 revenue budget.

Table 1: All Funds by Revenue Source ($ in Millions)
  FY2022
Budget
FY2022 Projected End of Year FY2023 Budget FY2023 vs. FY2022 Budget
Local Revenues        
Property Tax $3,374.2 $3,357.1 $3,685.3 $311.1
Replacement Tax $234.9 $602.2 $379.9 $145.0
Other Local $553.5 $600.4 $497.2 ($56.3)
Total Local $4,162.6 $4,559.8 $4,562.4 $399.8
State Revenues        
EBF $1,705.8 $1,670.2 $1,746.5 $40.7
Capital $23.3 $8.9 $13.3 ($10.0)
Other State $602.2 $636.3 $691.1 $88.9
Total State $2,331.3

$2,315.5

$2,450.8 $119.6
Federal $2,107.9 $1,872.7 $1,824.7 ($283.2)
Investment Income $0.1 $2.6 $3.0 $2.9
Reserves $10.0 $0.0 $0.0 ($10.0)
Total Revenue $8,611.8 $8,750.4 $8,840.9 $229.1
Table 2: FY2023 Revenue Sources Allocated for Debt, Capital, and Operating Funds ($ in Millions)
  FY2023 Total Budget Amount for Debt Service Amount for Capital Balance for Operating Budget
Local Revenues        
Property Tax $3,685.3 $51.1 $5.5 $3,628.7
Replacement Tax $379.9 $39.4 $0.0 $340.5
Other Local $497.2 $142.3 $54.0 $300.9
Total Local $4,562.4 $232.8 $59.5 $4,270.1
State Revenues        
EBF $1,746.5 $502.1 $0.0 $1,244.4
Capital $13.3 $0.0 $13.3 $0.0
Other State $691.1 $0.0 $15.0 $676.1
Total State $2,450.9 $502.1 $28.3 $1,920.5
Federal $1,824.7 $24.6 $0.0 $1,800.1
Investment Income $3.0 $0.0 $0.0 $3.0
Reserves $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
Total Revenue $8,840.9 $759.5 $87.8 $7,993.7
Table 3: FY2022 Operating Revenues ($ in Millions)
  FY2022 Operating Budget FY2022 Estimated End of Year Variance Estimated vs Budget FY2023 Operating Budget FY2023 vs. FY2022 Budget
Property Tax

$3,318.1

$3,357.1

$39.0

$3,628.7

$310.6

Replacement Tax

$195.5

$562.8

$367.3

$340.5

$145.0

TIF Surplus

$136.9

$134.9

($2.0)

$96.9

($40.0)

All Other Local

$260.3

$210.6

($49.7)

$204.0

($56.3)

Total Local

$3,910.8

$4,265.4

$354.6

$4,270.1

$359.3

State Aid

$1,549.6

$1,548.3

($1.3)

$1,611.8

$62.2

State Pension Support

$278.0

$278.0

$0.0

$308.7

$30.7

Total State

$1,827.6

$1,826.3

($1.3)

$1,920.5

$92.9

Federal

$2,073.1

$1,848.1

($225.0)

$1,800.1

($273.0)

Investment Income

$0.1

$0.3

$0.2

$3.0

$2.9

Reserves

$10.0

$0.0

($10.0)

$0.0

($10.0)

Total Revenue

$7,821.6

$7,940.1

$118.5

$7,993.7

$172.1

Local Revenues

Property Taxes

CPS is projected to receive $3,685.3 million in property tax revenues in FY2023, which remains the District’s largest single revenue source. Of the total property tax revenue, $56.6 million is revenue from the Capital Improvement Tax Levy, which includes $51.1 dedicated to paying debt service bonds issued for capital improvements and $5.5 million in additional levy receipts. Within the operating budget, CPS projects to receive $551.6 million from the dedicated Chicago Teacher Pension Fund (CTPF) levy, leaving $3,077.1 million left for all other operating costs. For more information on the pension levy calculation, please review the Pensions chapter.

Of the $3,077.1 million, $2,949.9 million is from the CPS property tax education levy, with an additional $32 million from the changes to the property tax code from Senate Bill 0508, and an additional $95.2 million is revenue from Transit Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The FY2023 budget includes an increase in property taxes of $310.6 million from the FY2022 budget, $250.6 million of which comes from an increase in CPS’ education levy. 

To calculate the increase in revenue from the education levy, an estimate of the change to the prior year value of taxable property was made. At the time of publication, the final Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) for tax year 2021 is not yet available. Based on the assumed FY2022 final levy amounts and property values, the increase in the education levy includes roughly $140 million from increasing the education levy by the rate of inflation of five percent, and roughly $110 million from property added to CPS’ tax base, including $608.8 million in new property that is projected to be included in the 2022 tax bill and $3,340.6 million in projected TIF district expiries.

Impact of Inflation

CPS’ property tax levy is subject to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL). PTELL limits the amount school districts can extend or collect from a taxing district. Each year, CPS levies property taxes to fund the operations of the public school system. The amount that CPS requests through the Board of Education cannot reflect an increase greater than the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or five percent, whichever is less. Tying tax increases to CPI is intended to prevent taxpayers from being overburdened by government activity that is irrespective of larger economic trends and has subsequent impact to taxpayers. 

The Illinois Department of Revenue is responsible for publishing the CPI that will be used for any government unit subject to PTELL. For the FY2023 property tax levy calculation, the CPI calculated was seven  percent. Following PTELL laws, the CPI was therefore capped and the applied CPI to the FY2022 extension is five percent3This inflation rate is higher than the previous year’s rate of 1.4 percent. An increase in CPI was expected given rising inflation nationwide, but five percent represents the highest increase in inflation in more than 30 years.

Impact of Assessments

The Cook County Assessor’s Office reassesses property values on a triennial cycle. The city underwent its regular reassessment in 2021. However, forecasting the impact of the reassessment is challenging. This is not only because of the off-cycle COVD-19 reassessment performed by the Cook County Assessor's office in 2020, but also because Assessor Kaegi’s office has publicly shared that assessments prior to Kaegi taking office have been historically inaccurate. These assessments were not equitably or fairly distributing the tax burden to different neighborhoods and communities throughout the County, specifically throughout Chicago. The FY2023 budget includes an estimated growth of two  percent, the normal rate of growth expected in an off-cycle assessment year.

Impact of New Property

As explained earlier, CPS, under PTELL, is able to increase its property tax levy on existing taxable properties at the rate of inflation. Property that was either constructed during a given tax year, or newly taxable as part of the incremental value of an expired TIF district, is not included in the base property amount that the CPI is applied to each year. Both new property and the incremental equalized assessed value (EAV) of an expiring TIF district are taxed at the same rate as existing properties. 

In tax year 2022, an anticipated amount of $608.8 million of newly constructed property and $3,340.6 million of incremental TIF EAV will be taxed and subsequently become part of the 2023 tax base.

Other Property Tax Considerations

A smaller portion of CPS operating revenues is generated by the TIF district created for the Red-Purple Modernization Program (Transit TIF) on the North Side of Chicago to modernize Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) tracks from North Avenue to Devon Avenue. By statute, CPS is due approximately 52 percent of all incremental value produced in the Transit TIF. In FY2023, CPS projects that Transit TIF revenues will be $95.2 million, representing an increase of just over $16.9 million from the FY2022 revenue budget of $78.3 million.

Personal Property Replacement Taxes (PPRT)

Personal Property Property Replacement Taxes (PPRT) are collected by the State of Illinois and distributed to local governments statewide. While the tax rates behind the collections are constant, the amount of funding CPS receives from this revenue can vary significantly from year to year. This is because PPRT is a tax that businesses and partnerships, trusts, and S corporations pay on their net Illinois income, along with a tax that public utilities pay on invested income. As corporate and investment income fluctuates, so does the amount received by local government agencies, including CPS.

The collection rates, found below, are greatest for the Corporate Income Tax  and are therefore used to provide the basis of the CPS revenue budget.

  • Corporations pay a 2.5 percent replacement tax on their net Illinois income.
  • Partnerships, trusts, and S corporations pay a 1.5 percent replacement tax on their net Illinois income.
  • Public utilities pay a 0.8 percent tax on invested capital.4

Prior to the late 1970s, local governments and school districts were statutorily allowed to levy taxes on business properties. After the General Assembly revoked that ability, legislation instituting PPRT was passed to mitigate the revenue loss to local taxing agencies. The portion of PPRT disbursed to Illinois local government agencies reflects the amount collected in tax year 1977. For CPS, the portion of collected PPRT distributed is 14 percent.

In FY2023, Personal Property Replacement Tax (PPRT) receipts are budgeted to decrease by 5.4 percent from FY2022. As discussed throughout this chapter, the FY2022 budget was developed during a time of great economic uncertainty due to the impact of COVID-19 on employment, the housing market, and consumer spending. Due to the one-time impact of pass-through entity tax legislation, PA 102-6585, PPRT is greatly outperforming FY2022 budget expectations. The FY2023 budget, based on state economic forecasts, projects a return to more normal funding levels. With debt service payments from PPRT remaining at their FY2022 level of $39 million, the FY2023 operating budget includes $340.2 million of PPRT revenue.

This increase reflects the State of Illinois Corporate Income Tax estimates from the State’s Office of Budget and Management that anticipate a year-over-year loss of 5.4 percent due in part to proposed changes to both federal and state tax code, as well as a decrease in the refund rate from 15 percent to 14.5 percent.6 The growth is net the amount of CIT disbursed after diversions to the refund fund and the amount diverted by the Governor for the local government distributive fund. The refund fund deposit is a percentage established by the Illinois Department of Revenue to fund corporations' requests for refunds from CIT taxes collected. 

TIF Surplus and Other Local Resources

CPS expects to receive $96.9 million in TIF surplus funding in FY2023, decreasing from $136 million budgeted in FY2022. CPS’ share of TIF surplus funding will be finalized once the City of Chicago passes its budget in the fall. 

All other local revenue includes the remaining portion of the pension payment made by the City of Chicago on behalf of CPS for their employer contribution to the Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund (MEABF), which is estimated to be $53.6 million in FY2023. Though CPS recognizes revenue to reflect the portion of the expense covered by the city, FY2023 marks the fourth year that CPS is absorbing some of the pension costs of its non-teaching staff. Prior to FY2020, the City of Chicago paid CPS’ entire MEABF employer contribution, but CPS now bears $175 million of that cost to offset the city’s contribution on behalf of CPS employees. Other revenues in this category include funding from the City of Chicago from intergovernmental agreements, rental income, fees paid by charter schools, and other smaller revenue sources.

Local Contributions to Capital

The FY2023 local capital revenue of $59.5 million assumes $44 million in TIF-related project reimbursements and $10 million from other local funding sources such as aldermanic menu funds, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, and the Department of Water. The budget also includes $5.5 million from Capital Improvement Tax collections not tied to existing bond issuances.

State Revenue

As discussed above, the state provides funding to CPS through Evidence-Based Funding and several smaller appropriations that come in the form of reimbursable or block grants.

Evidence-Based Funding

EBF is the largest portion of funding that CPS receives from the state of Illinois. In FY2023, EBF represents roughly 71 percent of the $2.45 billion that CPS is projected to receive from the state. 

Since its inception in 2017, the state has allocated EBF funds to districts using a formula that maintains existing funding levels for all districts and targets new funding to the districts that are least well-funded. The formula first allocates each district its Base Funding Minimum, a total reflecting the previous year’s EBF allocation. This provision provides crucial stability for CPS as it ensures that, regardless of enrollment or demographic trends, CPS will receive at least the same funding as the year prior. (The only scenario that could potentially drive a year over year decrease in funding is if the state took the unprecedented and highly unlikely step of disinvesting from EBF funding.  Since the inception of EBF, FY2021 was the only year that new tier funding was not added to the overall state allocation.)

The second component of the formula allocates new, or “tier,” funding based on a formula that targets the least well-funded districts. To evaluate funding levels of districts across the state, the state first calculates “adequacy targets” for each district, reflecting the evidence-based level of resources needed for each district to educate its students. Adequacy targets include, for example, the additional resources necessary to educate low-income students, special education students, and English Language learners, along with the financial resources needed to provide funding for technological devices and instructional materials. 

Funding adequacy, expressed as a percentage, is then calculated by dividing each district’s available local resources by its adequacy target, indicating each district’s ability to meet its specific needs. The FY2022 calculations, the most recent calculations currently available, indicate that CPS’ funding adequacy is 67.8 percent. 

Tier funding is then distributed using a formula that allocates the most funding to “Tier 1” schools, or those least adequately funded. CPS has been a Tier 1 school district since the inception of EBF, reflecting the high-needs of the District and historical levels of underfunding. At the time of publication, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has not publicly shared updated tier designations. CPS anticipates remaining in Tier 1 for the foreseeable future and receiving an additional $50 million in tier funding in FY2023. While tier designations rely on enrollment attributes of all districts throughout the state, the recent passage of Public Act 102-0033provides additional assurance that CPS will remain Tier 1. This legislation adjusts enrollment totals from the 2020-21 school year used in adequacy target calculations, ensuring pandemic-driven enrollment losses do not decrease adequacy targets and drive districts to a higher tier.

In spring 2022, the state informed CPS of a miscalculation in tier funding totals dating back to FY2019. This error reduced the amount of funding CPS is projected to receive in future years and requires CPS to pay back $87 million in funding received from FY2019 to FY2022. CPS is currently in discussion with the state on a plan to return these funds and expects to do so over eight years, beginning in FY2024.

Since 2019, CPS has received an additional allocation of EBF funding that is the result of property tax adjustments.  This amount totals just over $16 million and is included in the total EBF funding amounts.

State Contribution to Teacher Pensions

FY2023 is the sixth consecutive year that CPS has benefited from the state of Illinois making payments to the Chicago Teacher Pension Fund (CTPF). While the state contributions help to offset the impact that CTPF has on CPS’ financial health, Chicago remains the only district in Illinois that is required to pay contributions to the district teacher pension fund. In FY2023, the state contribution to CTPF is $308.7 million, an increase of 31.3 million from the prior year contribution of $277.4 million. Please review the Pension chapter for more information. 

Additional State Funds including Categorical Grants

In addition to EBF and teacher pension contributions, CPS is projected to receive an additional $395.8 million in revenue from state appropriated funds and categorical grants. The largest portion of this funding is from the Early Childhood block grant, which increased from $201 million in FY2022 to an estimated $221 million in FY2023.

State Contribution for Capital

The state revenue totals $13.3 million in gaming revenue for new construction projects and an estimated $15 million in reimbursements from state-approved capital projects.

Federal Revenue

Most federal grants require the Chicago Board of Education to provide supplemental educational services for specific purposes, especially children from low-income households, children from non-English speaking families, and for neglected and delinquent children from pre-k through 12th grade. These grants are dedicated to specific purposes and cannot supplant local programs. Medicaid reimbursement and Impact Aid are examples of two federal funding sources that do not have these restrictions.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

  • Title I-A—Low Income: Allocated based on a district’s poverty levels, this is the largest grant received under the ESSA. The grant allows the District to provide supplemental programs to improve the academic achievement of low-income students. CPS estimates that the District will receive $225.4 million in Title I funding in FY2023. This includes an anticipated increase of $8.5 million in the formula-based Title I grant from FY2022 to FY2023. The anticipated total grant award for FY2023 is $287.4 million, which includes allowable carryover of $37 million from the previous year and $33.5 million from anticipated allocation adjustment from the state.
  • Title I-A—IL Empower: This grant is a state-wide system of differentiated support and accountability to improve student learning, purposely designed to develop capacity to meet student needs. CPS anticipates a grant award of $24.2 million in FY2023, which includes a carryover of $10 million from the previous year.
  • Title I-D—Neglected/Delinquent: This grant targets the educational services for neglected or delinquent children and youth in local and state institutions to assist them in attaining state academic achievement standards. Programs include academic tutoring, counseling, and other curricular activities. The anticipated total grant award for FY2023 is $2.2 million, which includes allowable carryover of $1 million from the previous year.
  • Title II-A—Improving Teacher Quality: This grant funds class size reduction, recruitment and training, mentoring, and other support services to improve teacher quality. CPS anticipates a total of $27.7 million to be awarded for the FY2023 Title II-A grant, which includes a current award of $18.4 million and an estimated $9.3 million in carryover from the previous year.
  • Title III-A—Language Acquisition: These funds support students with limited English proficiency who meet eligibility requirements. The total funding available is estimated at $10.2 million for FY2023, which includes allowable carryover of $3 million from the previous year.
  • Title IV-A—Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants: These grants support states, local educational agencies, schools, and local communities to provide all students with access to a well-rounded education, improved student learning conditions in schools, and increased technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students. CPS anticipates a total of $34.9 million to be awarded for the FY2023 Title IV-A grant, which includes a carryover of $14 million from the previous year.
  • Title IV-B—21st Century Community Learning Centers: These grants provide opportunities for communities to establish schools as community learning centers and provide activities during after-school and evening hours. CPS anticipates a total of $14.7 million to be awarded in FY2023, an increase of $4.1 million from the previous year.
  • Title VII-A—Indian Education: Funds from this grant are used to meet the educational and cultural needs of American Indian and Alaska Native students. The anticipated total grant award for FY2023 is $213,093, which includes a decrease of $16,274 from the prior year.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

IDEA grants are allocated based on a state-established formula to provide supplemental funds for special education and related services to all children with disabilities from ages three through 21.

The IDEA grants include a number of programs:

  • IDEA Part B Flow-Through: This is the largest IDEA grant, with the estimated award for FY2023 totaling $99.3 million.
  • IDEA Room and Board: This grant provides room and board reimbursement for students attending facilities outside of Chicago and is estimated at $6.7 million in FY2023.
  • Part B Pre-K: This grant offers both formula and competitive grants for special education programs for children ages three to five with disabilities. CPS is expected to stay level at $1.3 million from the formula grant and $489,250 from a competitive grant for FY2023.

Total FY2023 IDEA funding equals $107.8 million, including small competitive grants and carryover from the pre-k grant in the previous year.

National School Lunch Program & Child and Adult Care Food Program

Child Nutrition Programs

CPS participates in state- and federally-funded Child Nutrition Programs, including the:

  • School Breakfast Program (SBP)
  • National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
  • Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)

Under the Child Nutrition Programs (CNP), CPS offers free breakfast, lunch, after-school supper, after-school snacks, Saturday breakfast, and Saturday lunch during the school year. The District also serves breakfast and lunch during summer school and offers fresh fruit and vegetables to elementary school students during the school year.

In 2012, CPS began participating in the Community Eligibility Provision program. All schools are now part of this program, which provides free breakfast and lunch to all students regardless of income eligibility. CPS is reimbursed for all meals at the maximum free reimbursement rate under each CNP.

CPS anticipates $188.8 million in federal reimbursements for FY2023. These revenues include:

  • $179.4 million for school lunches, breakfast, snacks, and donated foods
  • $7.4 million for CACFP
  • $1.0 million for FFVP

Medicaid Reimbursement

Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are required to provide special education and related services as delineated in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) at no cost to parents. Medicaid provides reimbursement for the:

  • Delivery of covered direct medical services provided to eligible children who have disabilities in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as outlined in the student’s IEP; and the
  • Cost of specific administrative activities, including outreach activities designed to ensure that students have access to Medicaid-covered programs and services.

Medicaid provides reimbursement for covered direct medical services including audiology, developmental assessments, medical equipment, medical services, medical supplies, medication administration, nursing services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychological services, school health aid, social work, speech/language pathology, and transportation. When these services are provided to Medicaid enrolled students with IEPs, the services are eligible for Medicaid reimbursement at the state’s reimbursement rate, approximately half of the established cost to provide the service.

Medicaid revenues in FY2023 are projected to be $35.4 million, subject to the level of health care services rendered in the upcoming school year. FY2023 Medicaid revenues are strengthened by continued revenue retention initiatives focused on enrolling eligible students in Medicaid, improving service capture, maximizing claiming and billing processes, and ensuring all claimable costs are reimbursed. New policy initiatives at the state level are expected to expand the types of services and service providers for which CPS is able to seek reimbursement from the state.

Other Federal Grants

This category includes competitive grants for other specific purposes, including:

  • Carl D. Perkins: This grant was established to help students in secondary and post-secondary education develop academic and technical skills for career opportunities, specific job training, and occupational retraining. The FY2023 Perkins formula grant is anticipated to be $7 million, which includes an estimated rollover of $1.2 million.
  • E-rate: The Federal Communications Commission provides funding through its E-rate program to discount the cost of telecommunications, internet access, and internal connections for schools and libraries across the country. The FY2023 Federal E-rate grant is anticipated to be $5 million.

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funding

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent impact on school districts throughout the country, the federal government has taken steps to support new pandemic-related costs and provide funding relief for impacted revenues through three rounds of emergency funding.

The first round of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding (ESSER I) was allocated to school districts through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress in March 2020. CPS received $206 million in ESSER I funding that was used to support costs in the FY2020 and FY2021 budgets, allowing the District to support emergency remote learning and school reopening costs required by the onset of the pandemic.

Congress passed the second round of relief funding (ESSER II) in December 2020, through which CPS will have received $797 million over the course of FY2021 and FY2022. At the time CPS passed its FY2021 budget (August 2020), this funding had not yet been authorized. With indications that another relief package was pending, CPS spent $391 million in FY2021 to support additional remote learning and school reopening costs, allowing the District to fulfill its commitments to fully fund FY2021 school budgets, maintain existing priority investments, and meet contractual obligations. The passage of ESSER II gave the district the revenue necessary to make good on these FY2021 commitments with additional funds leftover to support FY2022 costs. CPS is projected to utilize the remainder of its ESSER II funding in FY2022.

The final and most significant round of federal funding came in April 2021 with congressional approval of the American Rescue Plan, which includes a third round of ESSER funding (ESSER III) that will direct $1.8 billion to CPS. This funding will be available into the fall of 2024 and, similar to ESSERs I and II, will provide funding necessary to combat the effects of the pandemic on learning loss and the social and emotional well-being of students, safely open schools, and replace lost revenues. In addition to the $406 million of ESSER II funding supporting FY2022 expenses, CPS expects to spend $217 million  of ESSER III funding in FY2022. The FY2023 budget includes $730 million of ESSER III funding to support investments in academic recovery and redesign, social and emotional learning supports, pandemic-related operational costs, and ongoing investments in schools and school-based staff. CPS anticipates finishing FY2023 with $807 million remaining to support these investments in the FY2024 and FY2025 budgets.

The FY2023 budget’s combined $979 million of ESSER and other federal relief funding includes an additional $249 million dollars in other federal and state grants that CPS has received or anticipates receiving in order to address specific needs arising from and exacerbated by the pandemic, as well as proportionate share allocations for charter schools. Other state grants include funding to address the digital divide, provide Early Childhood summer programming and expand SEL services. Other federal grants, both direct and flow through, include funding for students in temporary living situations, diverse learners and technology investments. Federal dollars for technology investments represent the majority of these additional dollars and are highlighted below.

The District aims to strategically leverage various funding sources in order to maximize all available revenue, maintain an eye to sustainability, and remain responsive to evolving student, school, and district needs and priorities. As a result, plans included in the various grant applications may be amended throughout the course of grant periods, and reimbursement claims may include expenses that differ from initial plans.

Emergency Connectivity Fund

In October 2021, CPS was approved for $83.5 million  through the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), a $7 billion program authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) that reimburses eligible schools and libraries for laptops, computers, WiFi hotspots, routers, modems, and broadband connections to meet the remote learning needs of students and staff who would otherwise lack access to devices and internet service sufficient to support remote learning. The approved CPS plan included 215,000 devices and mobile broadband provided by Chicago Connected partners. The FY2023 budget includes $35 million  in this ECF funding, which is available through June 30, 2023.  

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened a third filing window in the spring of 2022, and CPS applied for $44 million in additional funding for two main priorities: 1) to ensure that the district maintains the 1:1 student-to-device ratio achieved as a result of the first award, by replacing lost or damaged devices and those approaching the end of their useful life, and 2) to continue to improve access to mobile broadband services, including for over 23,000 students at charter schools. With this, CPS will continue to minimize the digital equity gap beyond the need to engage in remote learning and to allow all students to access high-quality, digital curriculum content such as Skyline.

Federal Interest Subsidy under Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCBs) and Build America Bonds (BABs)

In FY2023, CPS has budgeted to receive a direct federal subsidy payment of $25 million for these two types of federally-subsidized bonds. This amount takes into consideration an allowance assumption of 5.7 percent for federal sequestration, flat to FY2022. Please review the Debt Management chapter for more information.

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