Chicago Public Schools Fiscal Year 2015 Budget

How to use this site

Users will be able to find documents and use interactive tools to help them better understand the proposed CPS budget for fiscal year 2015. The interactive features allow users to easily click through the budget, drilling into specific budget line details or staying at a high level overview of the District.

Users can view a number of areas of the budget including revenue and debt while also looking at every CPS school and department. Each interactive report generates graphs and charts which will make budget comparisons visual and easier to understand.

Check out our Reader's Guide for more information.

Download your own copy of the FY15 Budget Book Summary.

CPS received the GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for our FY2014 online budget site.


The FY15 budget continues CPS’s investments to modernize classrooms across the city to provide a high quality education that will prepare students to be 100 percent college ready and 100 percent college bound. 


Since Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12), under the Mayor’s leadership, the Board and CEO have provided over $1.1 billion to build new schools, provide playgrounds and air conditioning, improve access to technology with new computers and expanded bandwidth, expand academic programs (career and technical education programs, for example), and make core investments in our facilities to repair roofs, fix chimneys, and replace or repair boilers and other mechanical systems. This is all done to ensure students have a high quality learning environment to support a high quality education.


Today, there are over $500 million in capital projects underway at 65 schools, each supporting this vision of expanding high quality academic options to parents and students across the city.


The FY15 budget provides an additional $510 million in capital projects to provide access to quality education programs, repair and modernize buildings, and relieve overcrowding. Highlights of the plan are included here; full details are available at the Capital Plan website,


Since May 1, when CPS released the FY15 One-Year and Five-Year Capital Plans, CPS has received $80 million in additional outside funding including $44M in additional appropriation from state gaming revenue, a new $35 million state school construction appropriation1 and a $1 million school security equipment grant funded through the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. In addition, CPS shifted $7 million from operating funds to capital funds to correctly reflect the funding source supporting the appropriation.


Access to Quality Education Programs

One of the main goals of this capital budget is to increase access to high quality education programs. 


  • Strengthening neighborhood schools by building new IB campuses:  The FY15 Capital Budget provides $11.7 million in investments in science labs, art labs, and ADA improvements to ensure that the five newly-approved IB campuses – Seward, Agassiz, Ebinger, Moos, and Peirce Elementary Schools – have the infrastructure to meet the rigorous academic requirements and that students are prepared to continue their IB education at Back of the Yards, Clemente, Hyde Park, Morgan Park, Lincoln Park, Senn, and Taft High Schools.


  • Providing career-focused education:  CPS proposes a $22 million investment to make needed structural repairs and building modernization upgrades at the national Blue Ribbon Award-winning Lane Tech High School, which had the District’s highest enrollment (4,120 students) this school year. Another $7 million will be spent on modernization efforts at Dunne Technology Academy, a K-8 Level 2 school on the Far South Side.
  • Meeting the demand for selective enrollment seats:  With $60 million in TIF funds announced by the Mayor, CPS will build Barack Obama College Preparatory High School. Currently, more than 2,400 students who qualify to attend selective enrollment schools are not able to attend because CPS lacks the space to meet demand. The Mayor has also designated over $16 million in TIF funds for an expansion of the highly successful Walter Payton College Preparatory High School.
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE):  Building on more than $4 million in investments at five schools in FY14, CPS is again setting aside funds to support CTE programs. For FY15, $1.9 million will be used to build a new manufacturing and welding lab at Bowen High School to meet the growing demand for graduates with these skills.
  • College and Career Suites:  20 high schools across the city will have dedicated space to serve as a hub for students to engage in career exploration, build college awareness, apply to and select colleges, and to identify and seek scholarship and financial aid opportunities. With this $1.7 million investment CPS will further the ultimate goal of raising college acceptance and matriculation rates of students throughout the District.
  • Modernizing labs:  CPS will be investing $2.1 million for new art, computer, and science labs at 10 schools in FY15 to ensure that students have the opportunity to learn in state-of-the-art academic facilities.


Repair and Modernization of Our Buildings

The second major goal of the FY15 Capital Budget is to continue to invest in repair and modernization of our buildings.


  • Air-conditioned classrooms to aid learning:  The Mayor has announced a $100 million initiative to install air conditioning in every CPS classroom within five years. Over 200 schools do not have air conditioning in every classroom, and in FY15 CPS will invest $20 million to provide air conditioning to 57 schools. Since 2013, the Mayor and CPS have invested in air conditioning at 124 schools.
  • Increasing access to modern learning technology:  District-wide, CPS will be investing $26 million in IT to support growing demands and 21st century learning and testing requirements.
  • Modernizing playgrounds and fields and making other site improvements:  CPS will be investing $29.5 million as part of our Healthy Schools, Physical Education, and Recess initiatives to provide greater access to modern playgrounds, turf fields, and campus parks. We will continue our five-year plan to ensure every school has access to a playground by adding playlots at 18 schools. This year, three schools will receive turf fields.    
  • Protecting the health and safety of students, teachers, and adults in the school community:  We will be investing in safety technology and building repairs for the health and safety of adults and children in our buildings. We are also continuing our annual investment in security at schools, providing $4.8 million for security equipment and cameras at 20 schools; this is on top of $13 million invested in security cameras at over 80 schools since FY12.  


    In FY15, we are setting aside $68.2 million for building repairs, including masonry that is cracked and at risk of crumbling; chimneys that are in danger of collapse; and roofs that are leaking and causing interior damage.

  • Improving ADA accessibility:  We are continually working to improve the accessibility of our facilities. Most of our investment is reflected in the budget for other projects, as we use the opportunity to improve accessibility at the same time we are making other repairs or upgrades. In addition, we set aside approximately $500,000 each year for other projects that may arise.  


Relieving Overcrowding

When faced with overcrowding in schools, we evaluate all options to relieve overcrowding, such as boundary changes, changes to our enrollment policies and practices, and relocation of programs. Still, there are many growing school communities where capacity expansion is the only option.


  • Construction of new schools with outside funding support:  With the support of the Mayor and legislative leaders, CPS allocated $110 million of funding received in FY14 to construct new schools that will address severe overcrowding, including an elementary school on the Southeast side and an elementary school on the Southwest side.
  • Building annexes at three schools:  Since 2012, CPS has addressed overcrowding at 33 schools across the city. In the FY15 budget, CPS will provide overcrowding relief at eight neighborhood schools, including annexes at three schools – Edwards, Jamieson, and Canty.




The FY15 Capital Budget totals $510 million and will be funded by a combination of CPS resources, state funding, a federal grant, TIF funding, and various other local public and private funding sources. In total, approximately $261 million comes from CPS resources, and the balance of the $510 million comes from outside support. Below is a summary of the sources and uses of the FY15 Capital Budget by project type.



Sources ($ in thousands)


Debt Proceeds


Federal Grants


State Funding


TIF Funding


Other Local Public and Private Funding


Self-Funded Projects


Total FY15 Capital Budget Sources




Uses ($ in thousands)


Access to Quality Education Programs




Selective Enrollment Expansion


Lane Tech Upgrade


School Restructuring


IB Feeders


Dunne Tech Upgrade


New Labs


Other Programmatic Investments




Repair and Modernization of Our Buildings


Facility Needs


Facility Upgrades


Air Conditioning


Building Interior




Security Equipment


Site Improvements


Turf Fields




Other Facility Site Improvements


IT & Other Projects






Relieving Overcrowding






Capital Project Support Services


Legal/Regulatory Requirements


Other Potential Outside Funded Projects




Self-Funded Projects


Total FY15 Capital Budget Uses





All projects considered for inclusion in the annual capital budget are analyzed for projected impact on the District’s operating budget. For many projects this year, the capital investment supports a programmatic or academic investment in the operating budget and both the operating and capital investments were approved concurrently. In other instances we expect to see savings, such as energy savings, but these are difficult to quantify. Overall the FY15 Capital Budget is estimated to generate operating savings of approximately $320,000. Below are details of the operating impact by project type, with savings expressed as a negative number in parentheses and additional operating costs expressed as a positive number.



Annexes and Modulars Operating Increase

The addition of new or expanded buildings brings the need for facilities support personnel, such as custodians and engineers, and increases overall district utility costs. We cannot generate an estimate of the increase in operating costs related to new annexes or modulars until details such as number of classrooms and square footage are finalized.



Building Envelope Renovations Energy Savings

The Lane Tech renovation is expected to have a positive impact on the operating budget as old structural issues are fixed and result in increased energy efficiency, although it is difficult to estimate or measure savings. In addition, building envelope renovations, once completed, generally free up engineers and other CPS resources to focus on other buildings in need of attention.


Mechanical and Electrical Energy Savings

Mechanical projects are now funded on an as needed basis from contingency so the number of projects we will complete as part of the FY15 Capital Budget is unknown. However, any new FY15 mechanical projects should generate operating savings, as new boilers are more energy efficient and require less maintenance than older, existing machines. This frees up CPS resources for other mechanical systems in need of attention.



Air Conditioning 1.23 Million

The installation of air conditioning throughout the District creates an increased demand for electricity. The cost of the additional electricity varies with weather conditions as well as other factors, but we estimate the increase in annual utility costs during typical usage to be $1.23 million.


Building Interior No Impact

and Lockers

The Building Interior category consists of ADA and furniture projects. ADA improvements and furniture purchases require virtually no maintenance and do not impact the operating budget.


Security Equipment No Impact

Any maintenance or repairs needed on new security equipment will be covered under equipment warranty. Any monitoring or other required services are nominal and often covered by current staff.



Playgrounds, Turf Fields, and Site Improvements No Impact

New playground construction requires some maintenance and cleaning to prolong the life of the playground. While this maintenance requires an engineer or custodian – thus taking time from the individual’s other job duties – there is no impact on the operating budget as maintenance is absorbed by current school personnel. The benefits of the playgrounds in conjunction with the district’s recess initiative easily outweigh the small personnel commitment.



Information Technology and Other Projects $2.32 Million

Many of the Information Technology (IT) and Educational Programming projects consist of infrastructure, hardware, or software implementation that does not trigger any additional operating costs. However, the projects listed below require ongoing support. The sponsoring department, in conjunction with the IT department, will absorb any other ongoing operating cost increases with current available staff, resulting in no increase to the District’s operating budget.


Hyperion – Phase II $250,000
2015 Dashboard/Datawarehouse Buildout & Improvements $500,000
2015 Load Testing Software and Testing Lab $20,000
Contact Information Verification/Cleansing Tool $50,000
PeopleSoft Upgrade - Phase II $1,500,000



Selective Enrollment Expansion $1.35 Million

The addition of new buildings in the district /pings the need for facilities support personnel, such as custodians and engineers, and increases overall district utility costs. We cannot be sure of the actual increase in operating costs related to the new school construction until details are finalized, but we estimate approximately $700,000 in facility operating costs associated with new schools and another $650,000 associated with principals, clerks and counselors allocated on a per school basis. Additional teaching supports cannot be estimated until the expansions are closer to complete and potential enrollment is better understood.


School Restructuring $2.73 Million

School restructuring projects consist of turnaround schools, relocations, and grade expansions. We have created an FY15 operating budget of $2.73 million to provide the resources necessary to ensure successful school transitions.


IB Feeders $1.68 Million

The IB Feeder program requires $85,000 in startup resources, such as world language textbooks and software licenses, and $250,000 in annual ongoing operating supports per school. The five schools receiving FY15 investments will have an FY15 operating impact of $1.675 million and an ongoing operating impact of $1.25 million. These costs are reflected in the FY15 operating budget .


New Labs No Impact

Principals staff new labs using existing personnel or reallocating per-pupil funding to hire additional staff. There is no increase in operating cost to the District for these investments.


Other Programmatic Investments $0.75 Million

College and Career Suites, Parent Universities, and the Bowen Manufacturing Lab are all included in the Other Programmatic Investments category. These capital investments consist primarily of interior and/or exterior upgrades to support the programmatic initiatives. A total of $750,000 is budgeted in the FY15 operating budget for Parent Universities, while College and Career Suites will not have an FY15 operating impact.



Capital Project Support Services/Legal Requirements ($10.38 Million) Savings

Capital Project Support Services and Legal Requirements, such as bi-annual assessments, are paid out of capital funds because of their sole focus on capital-funded projects. Due to this funding classification, the operating budget is able to spread the cost of these items over several years, saving over $10 million in operating expenses in FY15.



The Summary of Capital Projects Fundstable shows capital revenues and capital outlays (expenses) to be incurred in FY15 regardless of the year the project was appropriated. The Fund Balance (unspent revenues received in prior years) accounts for the difference in expected FY15 capital outlay versus revenues. For example, if the District raised $400 million in bond proceeds during a fiscal year but only expensed $300 million in the same time period, the remaining $100 million would carry forward in the Fund Balance for use during the following fiscal year.



FY13 - FY15 Summary of Capital Projects Funds
(In Millions)















Beginning-Year Fund Balance














   Local Revenue
   State Revenue
   Federal Revenue
   Other Revenue







Total Revenue







Capital Outlay











Debt Proceeds2

















End-of-Year Fund Balance








Local revenue of $61.4 million is expected from new TIF-related projects, $10.7 million from other local funding sources, and $1.7 million from prior year TIF-funded projects.


The state revenue total is comprised of $13.3 million in FY13 state new construction projects, $16.1 million for overcrowding projects announced in Fall 2013, $1 million from IEMA for a Safe Schools Grant, $35 million in a state appropriation for school construction, and $7 million for potential Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and other grants.


The federal revenue total is attributable to an $8.86 million Federal Aviation Administration grant for Ebinger.


Other revenue consists of property sales, interest income, and other miscellaneous revenue sources.


FY11 – FY15


    Spending by Year (Cash Paid Out)  
  Total Appropriation FY2011A FY2012A FY2013A FY2014E FY2015E Remaining Spend
Prior Year/Other Expenditures   446.9 136.2 103.2 23.3 0.0 -
FY2011 Capital Budget 604.9 86.6 270.5 91.8 23.0 5.7 -
FY2012 Capital Budget 659.9 - 102.2 178.3 75.3 97.7 151.4
FY2013 Capital Budget 473.3 - - 74.3 351.0 8.0 40.0
FY2014 Capital Budget 347.5   - - 46.6 182.6 118.3
FY2015 Capital Budget 509.9   - - - 87.2 422.7
Modern Schools Across Chicago* 446.0 29.9 44.7 45.9 0.9 - 9.8
Total Spend by Year   $563.4 $553.6 $493.5 $520.1 $381.3 $742.2

*Some MSAC Projects are included in the Fiscal Year budget lines    A=Actual  E=Estimated
All values in millions


1 At the time of this writing, the Governor has not acted on the appropriation bill that has passed the General Assembly.

2 For FY14, this reflects use of the capital line of credit.

Page Last Modified on Thursday, August 28, 2014