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Schools and Networks

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is investing in the continued academic success of its students by allocating over $4.8 billion directly in school budgets in FY2024. This is an increase from the $4.6 billion budgeted for FY2023.

In FY2024, schools will receive funding directly into school-level budgets through a variety of enrollment and needs-based formulas. Funds allocated directly to schools in FY2024 reflect an increase of more than $243 million year-over-year and are intended to ensure that all schools can meet the following instructional and school design priorities:

  • Reasonable class sizes
  • Limited splits
  • Access to arts
  • Intervention supports
  • Local-level priorities

The FY2024 budget builds on the District’s approach in prior years by providing additional centrally funded resources for schools. In addition to the $4.8 billion in direct funding, centrally budgeted resources will provide age-appropriate tech devices for every student as well as curriculum and teacher devices for all schools that are adopting the District’s Skyline curriculum. Since these costs have traditionally been paid for out of direct allocations to schools, the centralization of this funding allows schools to invest more in local-level, school-specific priorities.

For funds allocated through the student-based budget (SBB) formula, the rate has been increased in FY2024 to align with the teacher salary increase in the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) contract. The base SBB rate for FY2024 is $5,147.57 per pupil, as compared to $4,973.50 in FY2023. The only District-managed schools that do not receive SBB dollars are the ten specialty schools and four District-run Options schools, which are discussed in later sections of this chapter, along with charter and contract schools that are also budgeted differently. For additional information on school funding formulas, please review Appendix B.

The District’s approach to direct school funding also includes new investments over and above schools’ SBB per-pupil allocations. The SBB funding represents less than half of the funding that District schools will receive. In FY2024, CPS is increasing funding outside of the per-pupil formula to improve equity in school resourcing, including investments in equity grants for small schools, additional District-funded full-time equivalent (FTE) allocations, and increases in Supplemental Aid and Title I rates for low-income students.

Equity grants support small schools with declining enrollment to help schools meet instructional priorities. The FY2024 equity grants provide $55 million in school-based funding to support 257 elementary and high schools. CPS continues to prioritize funding for students from low-income households by increasing Supplemental Aid allocations from $1,025 to $1,061 per student and maintaining total school-based Title I funding despite declining enrollment across the District.

The following sections discuss funding for instructional priorities and additional funding received by schools.


Budget allocations for SY2023–24 that incorporate an enrollment metric are utilizing each school’s 20th day enrollment during SY2022–23. Funding schools based on prior year enrollment ensures that schools will not see a budget reduction in the fall, even if enrollment declines. As in previous years, schools will receive additional funding if their enrollment on the 20th day of the new school year exceeds their FY2023 budget baseline enrollment. This model allows schools to plan confidently for the year ahead without concern for potential budget reductions in fall, while also ensuring schools have sufficient resources to meet their priorities for their current students.

Throughout the 2022–23 school year, the district has also seen an increase in newcomer students after the 20th day. Schools with post-20th day increased enrollment due to newcomer arrivals will see additional adjustments in their FY2024 budgets.

For more information on student demographics, including enrollment, please see Appendix A.

Table 1: FY2023 Enrollment by School Type 
School Type FY2023 20th Day Enrollment
Pre-K K-12 Total
Traditional District-Run Schools 16,035 248,410 264,445
Charter Schools - 51,566 51,566
Contract Schools - 2,065 2,065
District Specialty Schools 368 1,281 1,649
District Options Schools - 468 468
ALOP/SAFE - 1,788 1,788
Total District Enrollment 16,403 305,578 321,981

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 633 schools in FY2024. Table 2 provides the school count by type.

Table 2: FY2024 Number of CPS Schools by School Type
School Type Description FY2023 FY2024
Traditional District schools District-run schools funded through SBB 498 499
Charter schools Public schools managed by independent operators and certified under state charter law 111 109
Contract schools Public schools managed by independent operators under a contract with the district 9 8
District specialty schools District-run schools that primarily serve students with significant diverse learning needs or early childhood students 12 12
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
    635 633
ALOP programs Programs managed by independent operators that provide educational options for students who have dropped out of school and seek to return 8 8

The following table explains the change in school count between FY2023 and FY2024.

Table 3: School Openings and Closings Between FY2023 and FY2024
School Short Name Description Change
District Run Schools    
New Bronzeville-Englewood High School Opened by Board Action +1
  Net Change in District Run Schools +1
Charter Schools
Urban Prep – Bronzeville High School Board of Education voted not to renew the charter and to terminate its charter school agreement. -1
Urban Prep – Englewood High School Board of Education voted not to renew the charter and to terminate its charter school agreement. -1
  Net Change in Charter Schools -2
Contract Schools    
Hope Learning Academy The Board of Directors of Hope Institute made the decision to not renew their agreement at the end of 2022-2023. -1
Net Change in Contract Schools -1
  Total Net Change in Schools -2

School Budget Overview

The FY2024 budget contains more than $4.8 billion budgeted at school units. The following tables show fund and position allocations by school type and funding category.

Table 4: FY2024 Funding in School Budgets, by School Type and Department ($ in Thousands)
School Type SBB and Other Core Funding* Special Education Bilingual Early Childhood

Programmatic Funding

Title I  Supp. Aid Operations Other Programs Total
District Run











Charter/ Contract Traditional











Charter/ Contract Options

































District Options

































*Includes SBB, equity grants, additional teacher positions allocated by opportunity index and school size, Teacher Salary Adjustment, Program Support, Loss Cap and Foundation Positions.

Table 5: FY2024 Positions in School Budgets, by School Type and Department (FTEs)
School Type SBB and Other Core Funding* Special Education Bilingual Early Childhood Programmatic Funding Title I  Supp.  Aid Operations Other Programs Total
District Run


10,344.0 331.5 2,161.0 1,591.0 1,017.5 1,651.5 3,374.5 574.5 35,552.9
Charter/ Contract Traditional 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 79.0** 0.0 79.0
Charter/Contract Options 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 20.0** 0.0 20.0
ALOP 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Specialty 31.0 607.0 6.5 49.0 74.0 1.5 3.0 27.0 0.0 799.0
District Options 12.0 50.0 1.0 0.0 35.0 82.5 1.0 7.0 0.0 188.5
SAFE 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Total 14,550.4 11,001.0 339.0 2,210.0 1,700.0 1,101.5 1,655.5 3,507.5 574.5 36,639.4

*Includes SBB, equity grants, additional teacher positions allocated by opportunity index and school size, Instructional Support FTE, and Title II to support reduced class size, and other school-specific allocations.

**FTE at charter and contract schools include federally funded lunchroom staff and security staff, the latter of which are deducted from tuition payments made to the schools that have them.

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 allocation of funds to charter and contract school budgets. 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 allocates an equitable share of centralized spending and of each categorical funding source, where applicable. For more details on how charter and contract schools will be funded in FY2024, please see Appendix B.

Table 6: Projected SBB and Non-SBB Tuition Funding at Charter and Contract Schools
Area FY2024 Budget
Number of schools 109
Number of K-12 students (FY2023 20th day count) 53,631
SBB funding, in millions $404.2
Non-SBB funding, in millions $130.8
Total general education tuition payments, in millions $535.0

Alternative Learning Opportunity Programs (ALOPs)

ALOPs provide different educational options for youth who have not been consistently enrolled in school.

Table 7: Projected SBB and Non-SBB Tuition Funding at ALOPs
Area FY2024 Budget
Number of programs 8
Number of K-12 students (FY2023 20th day count) 1,752
SBB funding, in millions $14.0
Non-SBB funding (operations), in millions $4.9
Total general education tuition payments, in millions $18.9

Specialty Schools

Specialty schools primarily serve students with significant diverse learning needs and students in pre-k. Specialty schools include:

  • Four high schools that serve only diverse learners (Northside Learning Center, Southside Occupational Academy, Ray Graham Training Center, and Jacqueline B. Vaughn Occupational High School).
  • Three early childhood centers that serve pre-k students and a significant number of diverse learners enrolled in primary grades (Blair Early Childhood Center, Daniel C. Beard Elementary School, and Wilma Rudolph Learning Center).
  • Five early childhood centers serving only pre-k students (Lincoln Park Early Learning Center, Northwest Early Childhood Center, Barbara Vick Early Childhood and Family Center, Velma Thomas Early Childhood Center, and Stock School).

In FY2024, specialty schools will receive $4.3 million in funding for core instruction, which comes through both discretionary dollars and centrally funded positions, in addition to $3.1 million for Supplemental Aid, Title I, and bilingual allocations. The remainder of specialty schools’ budgets is for pre-k and diverse learner programming specific to each school. This funding is provided by the Office of Early Childhood Education and the Office of Diverse Learner Supports and 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 who are in confinement, at risk of dropping out of school, or have dropped out and wish to return. District Options schools include one school located at the Cook County Jail (Consuella B. York Alternative High School), one school located at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (Nancy B. Jefferson Alternative High School), one school that serves pregnant and parenting students (Simpson Academy for Young Women), and one school that serves students who previously dropped out of school and students who are at risk of dropping out (Peace and Education Coalition Alternative High School).

In FY2024, District Options schools will receive a core allocation of $1.8 million for teachers and administrative positions. In addition, the schools will receive $13 million in Supplemental Aid, Title I, and bilingual allocations 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 school is just over $1.4 million, a portion of which is covered by a state Regional Safe Schools grant.

Additional Funding Received by Schools

Schools receive additional funding to meet specific student needs, including funding for diverse learners, bilingual students, early childhood students, program costs, and school operations. Please review Appendix B for information on funding formulas for these allocations.

Diverse Learner Funding

Diverse learner allocations are based on the number of special education teachers and paraprofessionals needed to deliver the supports and services defined in students’ Individualized Education Programs. Initial allocations are determined by each school’s special education population as of spring 2023. Allocations may be updated during the year in response to changes in student 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 FY2024 budget contains $51 million in supplemental funding for schools, which includes hiring 339 supplemental bilingual education teachers. Bilingual education is supported by local funding and dedicated state and federal funding.

Early Childhood

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 FY2024 and will provide 23 new and free full-day preschool classrooms. The expansion of full-day pre-k continues the District’s four-year plan to provide all four-year-olds in Chicago with access to high-quality, full-day early childhood education.

The FY2024 budget contains $373 million in funding for early childhood education, both in CPS and in community-based programs managed by the City of Chicago. This includes $219 million allocated at 371 elementary schools and early learning centers for early childhood programs, including universal pre-k and child-parent centers. An additional $101 million is allocated to the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) for Preschool for All (PFA) and the Prevention Initiative (PI) programs that are implemented at various community-based organizations.

Additional funds are budgeted centrally for items such as:

  • Professional development for teachers and administrators;
  • Curriculum and instructional materials, furniture, and technology;
  • Student and teacher assessments; and
  • Nutritious snacks for full-day programs.

Early childhood programs serve pre-k students ages three and four, and are funded primarily from the state’s Early Childhood Block Grant, with most of the remainder coming from local funds. CPS also provides state grant funding to community-based providers for early childhood programs up to age five, as noted above and described more fully in the Early Childhood department narrative, but this funding is not reflected in school budgets.

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 8.

Table 8: Board Funded Programs
  Positions (FTE) Budget ($ in Millions)**
FY2023 Budget FY2024 Budget Change FY2023 Budget FY2024 Budget Change
Academic Centers 1.0 0.0 (1.0) $0.1 $0.0 $(0.1)
Classical Schools* 0.0 0.0 - $1.8 $2.1 $0.3
Critical Language Initiative 30.0 31.0 1.0




Dual Language 40.0 40.0 -




International Baccalaureate 143.5 154.5 11.0




JROTC 144.0 135.0 (9.0)




Magnet Cluster Programs 118.0 118.0 -




Magnet Schools 159.4 146.0 (13.4)




Montessori Programs 49.0 63.5 14.5




Regional Gifted Centers 0.0 12.0 12.0




Regional Gifted Centers ELL 7.0 10.0 3.0




Selective Enrollment HS 35.0 35.0 -




STEM and STEAM Programs 95.0 86.0 (9.0)




Totals 821.9 831.0 9.1




*Classical Schools and Regional Gifted Centers (including ELL) receive funds through which schools purchase positions, on top of the FTE listed in the table. While the funds are included in the Budget amounts, those positions are not included here as they are subject to principal discretion and may change throughout the year based on school-level decisions.

**FY24 positions reflect estimated average salary cost for new positions

Discretionary Funds

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

Supplemental Aid funds are distributed to schools based on the number of students eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals under the criteria established by the federal Child Nutrition Act of 1966 and the National School Lunch Act. For FY2024, CPS increased the rate from $1,025 to $1,061 per student, providing $261 million in total funding. Supplemental Aid follows the same spending rules as local funds, allowing 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. Over 87 percent of qualifying CPS schools will receive $203 million in Title I funding in FY2024.

Operational Expenses

Schools receive additional positions, services, and funding for various operational expenses. In FY2024, 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.
  • School Operational Support: Full-time school assistants have been provided to all schools with an enrollment of more than 600 students, and schools with fewer students will receive a part-time position to provide school-level operational and supervisory support.

Other operational expenses are managed centrally to support the effective use of resources. 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 or non-public schools are entitled to federal support through Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (Title IA & D, Title II, Title III, Title IV) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). CPS must set aside a share of the federal funds it receives to make services available to eligible private or non-public school students, teachers, and parents. However, these funds are not paid directly to the private schools; instead, CPS operates these programs on behalf of eligible students, teachers, and parents.

Each year, CPS oversees and manages services for approximately 61,000 students in 250 private schools, totaling almost $41 million under ESSA. In addition, CPS oversees services for children who attend seven residential sites that specialize in serving children under the guardianship of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

The following table shows the allocations for each of the federal programs. Funding is proportionate to the number of eligible students in each private school as compared to the student’s designated CPS neighborhood school. FY2024 amounts are projections; the final amounts will be determined after the District’s applications are approved by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Table 9: FY2024 Budget for Private School Programs
Federal Program FY2023 Budget FY2024  Budget
Title I (improving academic achievement of disadvantaged students)


Title IIA (teacher and principal training and recruiting)


Title III (Language instruction for ELs)


Title IVA (Student support and academic enrichment)


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA-Flow Through)


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA-Pre-School)


Title I, Part D (Neglected)


Subtotal Prior To Covid Relief Funding


ARP IDEA (Flow Through) $474,308 $27,093  
ARP IDEA (Pre-School) $1,782  $1,782  





District-run schools are organized into networks, which provide administrative support, strategic direction, and leadership development to the schools within the network. There are 18 networks to meet the unique needs of both elementary and high schools. Schools are either geographically organized into one of the 13 elementary or four high school networks, or they are part of the citywide Options network. Beginning in FY2022, CPS began transitioning schools previously managed by the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) into the District-managed network structure. Schools formerly in the AUSL network are transitioning into their geographic network over a three-year period, with 16 schools in FY2022, nine in FY2023, and the remaining six in FY2024.

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 Plans, 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. 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 Supports 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. In FY2024, 64 principals are anticipated to retain ISP status.  

Table 10: FY2024 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)
ISP Citywide - Independent Schools not assigned to networks
Options Citywide - Options schools assigned to Options-specific network

In FY2024, each network will receive a $110,000 non-personnel budget for administrative expenses and professional development. In addition to non-personnel budgets, 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 11: FY2024 Network Budgets
Network FY24 Personnel FY24 Non-Personnel FY24 Total Budget
1 $1,729,034


2 $1,617,355 $110,000 $1,727,355
3 $1,998,778 $110,000 $2,108,778
4 $1,674,377 $110,000 $1,784,377
5 $1,887,521 $110,000 $1,997,521
6 $1,812,663 $110,000 $1,922,663
7 $1,661,534 $110,000 $1,771,534
8 $1,713,783 $110,000 $1,823,783
9 $1,757,605 $110,000 $1,867,605
10 $1,925,865 $110,000 $2,035,865
11 $2,217,285 $110,000 $2,327,285
12 $1,824,622 $110,000 $1,934,622
13 $1,997,884 $110,000 $2,107,884
14 $1,563,145 $110,000 $1,673,145
15 $1,442,673 $110,000 $1,552,673
16 $1,504,488 $110,000 $1,614,488
17 $1,385,260 $110,000 $1,495,260
Options $828,945 $110,000 $938,945
Total $30,542,817 $1,980,000 $32,522,817

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