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CPS Launches Formal Engagement Process to Further Promote Equity and Sustainability in School Funding

12 December 2019

District Will Create School Funding Working Group and Hold Community Meetings as Part of an Examination of School Funding; Working Group to Provide Preliminary Recommendations in Spring 2020 for FY21 Budget Cycle

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Twitter: @chipubschools
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Thursday, December 12, 2019

CHICAGO – As part of the district’s commitment to work with the community to identify potential opportunities to strengthen school budgeting, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced a public engagement plan consisting of a series of community meetings and the formation of a School Funding Working Group. Beginning in January 2020, the district will hold six public forums to engage the community and gather feedback on the school budgeting process. The School Funding Working Group, which will include a diverse array of stakeholders - including Board of Education members - will convene, analyze feedback and submit preliminary recommendations to strengthen school budgeting in both the FY21 and FY22 budget cycles.

“If we want to fulfill our promise as a city to give every child a quality education and to prove through our schools that we believe in them, it is crucial to listen to communities throughout Chicago who take pride in their neighborhood schools," said Mayor Lightfoot. "Dr. Jackson and I know that community engagement is essential for a strong school district, and we will continue to create a more transparent and equitable budgeting process, helping Chicago's students reach new academic achievements.”

In July 2019, Mayor Lightfoot and CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson publicly announced that the district would be engaging community members in the year ahead to evaluate school budgeting and determine if opportunities exist to promote greater funding equity in district schools by FY22. The district will launch the community and stakeholder feedback process beginning in January 2020, and the School Funding Working Group will provide its preliminary recommendations prior to the release of school budgets in spring 2020. This process will inform potential adjustments for the upcoming FY21 budget process and determine if there is an opportunity for more significant changes to the funding model for FY22.

“Resource equity is a core value outlined in the district’s Five-Year Vision and we are fully committed to engaging the community and convening important stakeholders to further ensure every school in Chicago has fair and equitable funding to continue to make record-breaking academic progress,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Taking a hard look at our funding process with a focus on community engagement is an important step toward eliminating the opportunity gap and providing a world-class education for students in all neighborhoods across the city.”

Working Group With Diverse Representation

The district’s School Funding Working Group will convene diverse voices to consider community and stakeholder feedback and propose a set of recommendations rooted in equity and stability. Board Vice President Sendhil Revuluri and Board Member Elizabeth Todd-Breland, will serve on the group, as well as representatives from the State and City, community and parent representatives such as LSC members, principals, students, the Chicago Teachers Union, and representatives from the philanthropic, policy, and charter communities. A full list of members can be found below.

The Funding Working Group will ensure that different perspectives across the district are incorporated into recommendations that will be submitted for consideration. Due to the complexity of school budgeting and the need to thoroughly engage a variety of stakeholders prior to any significant funding methodology changes, CPS and the City have committed to a process that would take place throughout 2020 and implement potential funding changes over a multi-budget timeline.

Community Engagement

In order to solicit feedback from stakeholders across Chicago, the district will host six school funding forums that will seek to both inform and engage members of the community. These forums will provide an overview of its current funding methodologies and gather feedback from the community. At these meetings, parents and other school stakeholders will be able to share the needs of their school communities and offer suggestions on how to make the school funding process more equitable, transparent and sustainable.

The work of the School Funding Working Group and the feedback gathered by community members is meant to build upon the improvements to the budgeting process in recent years, which include millions of dollars in equity grants for hundreds of schools experiencing under-enrollment, more funding for special education students and English Learners, the elimination of budget cuts in the fall for schools that do not meet enrollment projections, and a revised timeline that provides principals with their budgets earlier so they have time to effectively plan for the upcoming school year.

School Funding Forum Dates and Locations:

School Name Date Time
Amundsen High School 
5110 N. Damen Ave, 60625
600 pm - 800 pm
Michele Clark High School
5101 W. Harrison St, 60644
600 pm - 800 pm
Corliss High School 
821 E. 103rd St, 60628
1100 am - 100 pm
Hammond Elementary
2819 W. 21st Pl, 60623
600 pm - 800 pm
Dyett High School
555 E. 51st St, 60615
600 pm - 800 pm
Roberto Clemente High School
1147 N. Western Ave, 60622
2/8/2020 1100 am - 100 pm

Members of the School Funding Working Group:

  • Sendhil Revuluri, Vice President, Chicago Board of Education
  • Elizabeth Todd-Breland, Member, Chicago Board of Education
  • Carlos Azcoitia, Former CPS Principal and Board Member, and Professor Emeritus National Louis University
  • Krystal Burns, Parent Representative and Member of the Harold Washington Elementary School LSC
  • Bogdana Chkoumbova, Chief Schools Officer, Chicago Public Schools
  • Maureen Delgado, Principal, Clinton Elementary School
  • Vanessa Espinoza, Parent Representative and Member of the Gunsaulus Elementary School LSC
  • Rachel Garza Resnick, Retired CPS Administrator
  • Kurt Hilgendorf, Chicago Teachers Union
  • Pavlyn Jankov, Chicago Teachers Union
  • Josh Long, Principal, Southside Occupational High School
  • Sybil Madison, Deputy Mayor for Education, City of Chicago
  • Matt McCabe, Chief of Staff and Public Affairs, Noble Network of Charter Schools
  • Cameron Mock, Chief of Staff & Senior Fiscal Advisor to the Deputy Governor
  • Candace Moore, Chief Equity Officer, City of Chicago
  • Robin Steans, President, Advance Illinois
  • Maurice Swinney, Chief Equity Officer, Chicago Public Schools
  • Ricardo Trujillo, Deputy Chief of Network 5, Chicago Public Schools
  • Two students from the CPS Student Voice and Activism Council
  • One teacher representative from the Teacher Advisory Council

Chicago Public Schools serves 355,000 students in 642 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.