Dear CPS Stakeholder:
I’m pleased to present a budget for Fiscal Year 2013 that addresses our financial challenges, while also upholding our commitment to students and their academic achievement. We’re cutting administrative waste and inefficiencies in order to protect investments in programs that boost student learning such as full school day, early childhood development and maintaining class size, while at the same time expanding high quality school options across the district to give parents more choices.
We have insisted on continuing our investments in critical initiatives that boost student learning, including:
- Adding over $130 million in discretionary funding to give principals and school communities flexibility to create a quality, full school day that best meets the academic needs of their unique student body;
- Expanding high quality school options to create nearly 6,600 new seats in high quality magnet, selective enrollment, Charter, International Baccalaureate, Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs;
- Maintaining class size;
- Protecting investments in early childhood education despite a $19 million cut in state funding to continue serving over 42,000 students;
- Maintaining full day kindergarten to continue serving over 17,000 students; and
- Meeting higher nutritional standards while realizing targeted savings and securing additional federal revenue.
Last year we eliminated $400 million in spending through a combination of cuts to administration and operations outside the classroom, which helped offset this year’s structural deficit. Despite our efforts to further reduce spending, the District continues to struggle with increasing statutory and contractual obligations and declining state and federal revenues.
This year we’ve been just as vigilant as last, identifying another $144 million in spending reductions by scrubbing our budget line by line, contract by contract, and program by program. We have also ended the status quo way of doing business with CPS by implementing rigorous private sector procurement practices that will ensure less money ends up in the pockets of vendors and more goes to our schools.
We are proposing to take decisive steps to close the deficit of over $665 million, including:
- $144 million in cuts and efficiencies to operations/administrative and Central office-run education programs;
- $62 million from available property tax cap ($28 per household per year);
- $14 million increase in TIF revenue;
- $432 million in fund balance; and
- $12.3 million in additional adjustments.
Despite our challenges, we refuse to put programs at risk that impact students and their learning as our primary obligation as a District is to prepare our students for college and career. They can’t afford to wait another day to access the quality education they deserve and we won’t ask them to wait until this fiscal crisis ends.
We’re committed to making difficult choices needed to bring financial stability to the District without putting our children’s future at risk, but CPS will not be able to solve the crisis on its own. We will need the continued input and assistance from all stakeholders including parents, community leaders and legislators to find solutions that enable us to meet these challenges while maintaining critical investments that support student learning.
Chicago Public Schools | CEO