Chicago Public Schools Fiscal Year 2013 Amended Budget

Reader's Guide

Reader's Guide

The Chicago Public Schools FY2013 Proposed Budget is the financial and policy plan proposed to the Chicago Board of Education for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012 and ending June 30, 2013. The fiscal year encompasses 12 months, as mandated by the 1995 Amendatory Act enacted by the Illinois legislature.

Most likely you are reading the FY2013 Proposed Budget on the Chicago Public Schools website. This contains the official budget document as well as new interactive features that make more information more easily accessible.

Interactive Budget Reports

For the first time this year, we are providing interactive budget reports that allow you to view the entire operating budget and drill down to get more detail on any component of the budget that you are interested in. We have made an entire database of budget information available to you.

The interactive reports include:

  • Budget by Unit, including schools and central office departments
  • Budget by Fund, such as general fund or federal and state grants
  • Budget by Account, such as salary, benefits, contacts and commodities
  • Budget by Program, such as instruction, support services and community services
  • Revenues & Expenditures report, providing information on debt service and capital funds, as well as general operating funds
  • School List, which lists all schools by network

The School List report is the quickest way to get budget information about a particular school. The top of the report contains a search box where you can type in a school name and go directly to that school's budget.

School budget reports provide information about:

  • Student and teacher counts
  • A school's budget by account
  • A school's budget by fund source
  • The number of teacher and support personnel positions staffed at the school

The school budget reports also allow you to drill down to get more detailed information.

Budget Book Chapters

The FY2013 Proposed Budgetincludes narrative overviews of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) programs, goals, financial policies and procedures, summary and detailed financial tables. These chapters are accessed from the list of links along the left side of the screen on the home page of the budget website.

The following chapters are included:

Budget Overview:

This chapter summarizes the district's financial position, outlining the goals and objectives that the district seeks to achieve in the coming fiscal year and in the future. Summary tables provide additional detail of the financial picture.

Fund Balance Statement:

This chapter explains the importance of maintaining a minimum fund balance (cash reserve) and how it is calculated.

Fund Descriptions:

Funds are separate accounting entities that ensure taxpayer dollars are spent as authorized. This chapter describes the four governmental fund types used by Chicago Public Schools: General Fund, Special Revenue Funds, Capital Projects Funds and Debt Service Funds.


This chapter describes each of the district's revenue sources and the assumptions and factors that influence our revenue projections. It also provides year-to-year revenue comparisons.


This chapter provides an overview of school budgets and the resources given to schools. It also gives a two-year comparison of total school funding, which reinforces our CEO's commitment to keeping budget cuts away from the classroom.

Organizational Overview:

This chapter explains CPS's organizational chart by providing detailed information for each level of management.


This chapter gives a profile of each central office department, including the department's mission and major programs, FY2013 budget summary, major accomplishments and key budget initiatives.


This chapter provides a basic overview of the district's pension obligations and challenges.

Capital Budget:

The Capital Budget chapter describes our plan for major infrastructure investments. Capital projects often take longer than one year to complete, therefore a separate capital budget is prepared. This chapter outlines the proposed new capital spending areas and shows the projected expenditures for multi-year projects.  This chapter also explains the impact of the capital budget on operating expenses. A separate capital budget website with information on all capital projects can be found on the CPS website.


This chapter provides detail on the Board's debt management practices. It presents a complete picture of the district's use and management of debt. It includes outstanding debt and proposed debt issuances and presents current and long-term debt service requirements.  

More Information:

This section includes information on demographics, school funding formulas, historical revenue/expenditure tables, the budget process, financial policies, the budget resolution and a glossary.

  • Appendix A - Demographics: Provides detailed information about the makeup of the district, school population and employees, as well as a snapshot of the larger community in which our students and their families reside.
  • Appendix B - School Funding Formulas: Provides and explains the funding formulas used to allocate resources to schools.
  • Appendix C - Historical Revenue/Expenditure Tables: Detailed revenue and expenditure totals for the previous five years, along with the estimated current year and budget year totals.
  • Appendix D - Budget Process: As required by law, CPS follows a detailed budget calendar and process, which is provided in this section.
  • Appendix E - Financial Policies: An explanation of the policies and procedures followed throughout the budget process.
  • Appendix F - Glossary: An alphabetical listing of specialized terms found throughout the budget book.

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Page Last Modified on Wednesday, August 27, 2014