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CPS Increases School Budgets by More Than $55 Million Next Year with Unprecedented Investments in Academic Programming and Supports For High Needs Schools

25 March 2019

Improved District Finances Allow for Earliest Budget Release in Years and Ensures More Than 150 Schools Will Begin School Next Fall with New High-Quality Academic Programming and/or Pre-K Classrooms

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Twitter: @chipubschools
Facebook: chicagopublicschools

Monday, March 25, 2019

CHICAGO - To continue the unprecedented academic progress that Chicago schools have made, CPS is releasing school budgets today for the 2019-20 school year that provide an increase of more than $55 million for district schools. Thanks to CPS families and city leaders who in 2017 won the fair funding our students deserve, the district is on improved financial ground and has the ability to roll out school budgets at the earliest time in recent memory and make new investments that will help accelerate academic growth throughout the city. Additional funding for the 2019-20 school year will allow CPS to invest in the largest-ever expansion of high-quality academic programs, provide universal four-year-old Pre-K to families in 28 communities, and provide supplemental resources to 219 schools to promote equity throughout the district.

“For the second consecutive year we are rolling out budgets early and increasing our investment in high-quality academic programs, early childhood education, and targeted resources for the schools and students who need our support the most,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Budgets for the 2019-20 school year will help build on the incredible progress Chicago students have made in every part of the city and promote equity to ensure all of our students are able to share in the academic progress that has made CPS a national model for improving student opportunities and outcomes.”

More IB, STEM and Pre-K Classrooms Than Ever Before

CPS is committed to expanding educational opportunities for families in all parts of Chicago, and in the 2019-20 school year CPS will provide greater access to high-quality academic programs and full-day Pre-K than ever before.

Unprecedented Expansion of High-Quality Academic Programming

Earlier this school year, CPS launched a first-of-its-kind program application process that invited school communities to submit applications for new high-quality academic programs. Through this process, CPS is awarding programming to 32 additional schools in the 2019-20 school year, which will allow the district to provide more students than ever before with an opportunity to engage in high-quality programming.

  • IB: By adding 1,900 new IB seats at seven schools, more than 19,000 total students will have access to proven International Baccalaureate programs at CPS’ 62 schools that make up the largest IB network in North America.
  • STEM/STEAM: An additional 6,100 students at 11 schools will have access to modern STEM and STEAM classrooms next year, allowing nearly 18,000 elementary and high school students at 36 schools to access instruction that will prepare them to thrive in a technology-driven world.
  • Fine & Performing Arts: Through the creation of six new Fine & Performing Arts schools serving approximately 3,000 students, nearly 41,000 students at 66 schools will benefit from comprehensive Fine & Performing Arts programming that integrates arts throughout the school day.
  • Dual Language: By adding four new Dual Language schools, students at 41 schools will receive instruction in two languages next year through Dual Language programs that allow students to expand their cultural understanding and develop literacy and fluency in two languages.
  • World Language: Creating new World Language programs at two schools will allow students at 31 schools to specialize in a foreign language and build their oral, written and cultural knowledge through World Language programs next year.
  • Personalized Learning: As a result of investments at two schools, students at 118 schools will engage next year in teacher-driven Personalized Learning instruction that tailors learning to the unique needs of each child.
  • Gifted: With the addition of a new Gifted program at McPherson Elementary, a total of 22 schools will provide students an opportunity to engage in accelerated coursework through Gifted programs next year.

Free Pre-K Expands as City Moves to Universal Pre-K for All Four-Year-Olds

As the next step in Mayor Emanuel’s plan to provide free full-day Pre-K to all four-year-olds in the City of Chicago by 2021, school budgets for the 2019-20 school year include funding to expand Pre-K to more than 100 additional classrooms, serving up to 2,800 students in CPS schools. This expansion will ensure that families in 28 high-needs communities will have universal access to free full-day Pre-K next school year.

The continued expansion of free full-day Pre-K means a total of 15,000 four-year-olds are anticipated to participate in free full-day Pre-K programming next year through CPS and Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) programs in 2019-20.

Additional Support for Students Who Need it Most

In addition to expanding access to academic programming and Pre-K, CPS is allocating millions in additional funding to ensure that the students who need our support the most have the resources needed to succeed.

Equity Grants for Schools with Low and Declining Enrollment

To ensure that students who attend schools with low and declining enrollment receive the benefits that students attending larger schools receive, CPS is providing $31 million in equity grant funding to 219 elementary and high schools that need additional support. These funds will allow schools to provide the instructional programming and supplemental resources and supports that students need to reach their potential, even at schools where enrollment is low or declining.

“Every student in every neighborhood deserves a school in their own community that provides a well-rounded education and prepares them for success far beyond graduation day,” said CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya D. McDade. “By providing our highest-need schools with additional resources, we are promoting educational equity and helping ensure that a child’s zip code doesn’t determine the quality of education they receive.”

Funding to Support Students from Low-Income Households

To ensure schools can effectively support their highest-need students, CPS is increasing the per-student funding allocation for all students from low-income households. Last year, CPS increased the rate for Supplemental Aid (formerly Supplemental General State Aid) from $857 per student to $910 per student, and this year CPS is increasing the allocation to $920 per student. Additionally, CPS is maintaining total school-based Title 1 allocations in 2019-20, even though the district’s enrollment has decreased, which is raising the average per-student Title 1 allocation from $853 to $887.

Research has shown that students from low-income households generally require additional resources to be successful, and the targeted funding for these students will help ensure schools have the resources to provide all students with the support they need and deserve.

Increased Funding for English Learners

In addition to providing equity grants to high-needs schools and increasing funding to support students from low-income families, CPS is allocating an additional $6 million to ensure English Learners receive a high-quality education that supports their needs and celebrates their heritage. Through this investment, 35,000 students at the 112 schools with the highest concentration of English Learners will receive additional funding to support bilingual instruction. This investment will impact approximately half of the district’s English Learners in schools throughout the city.

Funding Approach to Promote Stability

In the 2019-20 school year, CPS is increasing the Student Based Budgeting (SBB) rate by 2.5 percent to align with a proposed teacher salary increase next year.

For the second consecutive year, CPS is utilizing a funding methodology that bases funding levels for the upcoming school year on fall enrollment from the current school year. Unlike in prior years, when school budgets were subject to change on the 10th day of the new school year, funding levels will not be reduced this coming fall. Instead, funding is based on 20th day enrollment from the 2018-19 school year, and schools are guaranteed to maintain that funding level if enrollment declines in the fall. While the budgets released today will not be adjusted down from their 2018-19 20th day level, schools will receive additional funding if their enrollment on the 10th day of the new school year exceeds their enrollment on the 20th day of the 2018-19 school year.

CPS transitioned to this funding approach because it provides principals with far greater certainty about the resources that will be available to them next school year, and the district is able to provide funding in this manner because of its greatly improved financial standing.

Additionally, CPS is maintaining the funding approach for special education that is being utilized in the 2018-19 school year. In response to requests from principals, CPS returned last year to a prior practice of providing schools with position allocations for all of their special education programs. CPS is using the same approach this year to ensure principals and their school communities have clarity on the number of positions needed to serve all diverse learners and can plan effectively to support them. School budgets for the 2019-20 school year include an additional $22 million in special education funding compared to funding levels set when 2018-19 school budgets were released, which reflects a change in student needs over the past year.

Charter Budgets Release

CPS is committed to providing charter schools with budgets that are equitable and aligned to allocations for district-run schools. For the past year, CPS has been working with its charter school partners on a joint proposed modification to state funding requirements for charter schools. Those discussion remain ongoing, and 2019-2020 charter school budgets will not be finalized and released until a resolution is reached that ensures charters can be funded equitably and in alignment with district-run schools.

FY20 Budget

The school budgets released today represent the first part of the FY20 budget process. In the coming months, CPS will release its full operating budget outlining all of its funding priorities for the coming school year, including additional funding that schools receive for facilities-related work. CPS is committed to investing in high quality academic supports that foster student growth while also operating with a balanced budget that promotes long-term financial stability for the district.

CPS will release a detailed spreadsheet of school-level funding after all principals have received their budgets, typically at the end of the business day. Spreadsheets will be provided upon request.

Chicago Public Schools serves 361,000 students in 644 schools. It is the nation's third-largest school district.

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