Chicago Public Schools Fiscal Year 2016 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 2016. 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.

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Download your own copy of the FY16 Budget Book Summary.

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

Organization Chart

Updated 8/25/15: The FY16 proposed budget was updated to reflect community feedback regarding bell time changes (+$7.0M) and non-union employee pension pick-up changes (-$2.9M)

Budget Overview

Due to a decrease in state funding and our massive pension obligations, CPS’ budget situation has continued to deteriorate over the past several years. With our finances at a breaking point, our objective is to put CPS on stable, sustainable footing now so that our financial crisis does not interfere with our mission: providing our children with a high quality education. We will continue to work toward a partnership with leaders in Springfield to resolve our district’s fiscal crisis.  In the past two years, CPS has paid over $1 billion for pensions.  On June 30, we made the full $634 million payment on time, but were forced to borrow an additional $200 million to cover the payment.  On July 1, we announced $200 million in cuts.

While we work toward a sustainable solution, CPS continues to trim administrative, central office, program and operating expenses in an effort to protect classrooms. In July, CPS announced $200 million in cuts eliminating approximately 1,400 positions. Since FY11, CPS has cut $740 million in these areas to ensure that every possible dollar is helping improve outcomes in the classroom. In fact, the FY16 budget is below the FY13 budget, once pension costs have been taken out.

However, cuts to Central Office, administrative and operations areas will not solve the structural deficit.

As we have warned for the past several years, our financial situation will remain precarious until we achieve pension funding equity. As Ernst &Young noted in an analysis of the District’s financial picture this spring: “Implementing a comprehensive, long-term plan that provides adequate funding to educate students without increasing future per pupil indebtedness will likely require a combined CPS, City and State solution.”

To present a balanced budget for FY16 and to ensure that we are continuing to protect classrooms, CPS is relying on $500 million in pension funding equity from Springfield. If equity is not achieved, CPS will be forced to address the shortfall with a mix of deeper cuts and/or additional unsustainable borrowing.

In addition, this budget already includes $200 million in unsustainable borrowing known as “scoop and toss” and another $50 million in one-time sources to pay debt service that will prevent classroom cuts today, but put a greater burden on future generations.

Despite these challenges, CPS continues to prioritize our classrooms, even as our resources become more scarce. Over the past four budgets we have: 

  • Moved to a Full School Day, providing students the time they need to learn.
  • Prepared our youngest students to succeed by implementing Full Day Kindergarten for all students and expanded Pre-K programs through the Chicago: Ready to Learn! initiative.
  • Successfully expanded Safe Passage so that students can focus on their studies and not their safety.
  • Strengthened neighborhood schools with further investments in high quality STEM and IB programs, adding 19 new IB programs serving 6,000 students and 16 new STEM programs serving 8,300.
  • Invested in Arts, launching the first-ever Arts Education plan.
  • Committed to Physical Education and recess every day for every student.

Even in an austere budget, in FY16, we will make the following investments:

Expand Early Childhood Education Programs: $16.6 million

CPS has increased Full Day Preschool opportunities by over 92 classrooms in an effort to meet the 3-year Plan to expand to 300 Full Day Preschool classrooms.  Early Childhood Education had an estimated 100 classrooms in FY15 and plans to expand to 192 for FY16 through a $5.2 million increase in state pre-school funding. A $7 million grant from ISBE will  provide a total of 10 new and 45 expanded full day classrooms for FY16; Social Impact Bonds that create an expansion of 11 classrooms at Davis, Tonti, and Edwards Elementary Schools; CPS also will expand 26 half-day rooms to full day with funding from the Mayor, State and Headstart.

Bandwidth Upgrade to High-Speed Internet: $347,000

CPS will ensure that 455 schools receive an increase in bandwidth to 50Mb, at a cost of $347,000. This will ensure that students have access to the Internet, the ability to use the latest technology effectively in their schools and can learn the skills necessary for the 21st century.

Expand Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM): $317,000  

CPS is expanding the STEM program to Dunne Elementary.  The conversion of Dunne is part of CPS’s effort to strengthen neighborhood schools through the expansion of seats in STEM, International Baccalaureate (IB) and other high-performing programs across the city. The STEM program worked with Dunne’s principal to plan the implementation of this program. The expansion will include startup costs, supplemental staff, and professional development for the staff at Dunne.

Selective Enrollment and Career and Technical Education Expansion: $889,000

CPS is expanding the Selective Enrollment and Career and Technical Education Expansion to Hancock College Prep. Both programs (CTE and Selective Enrollment) will begin with a freshman class, and phase in one grade per year going forward. The CTE program will offer curriculum paths in pre-law and pre-engineering. Students living in the neighborhoods feeding into Solorio, Curie, Hubbard, Hancock, Kennedy, Bogan and Gage Park high schools will be given preference for the CTE programs at Hancock.

While we face serious fiscal challenges, we will continue to innovate and prioritize our children’s education.

Financial Context

As discussed in the Revenue chapter, CPS has little control over the revenue it receives.

The main source of revenue is property taxes, which comprises about 41% of operating revenue.  However, base property taxes are capped at the rate of inflation.  In FY16, with inflation at 0.8%, that means base property taxes go up $19 million, though CPS is able to take advantage of new property that is added to the base property values. The annual increase in revenue remains modest and is not sufficient to make up for the continuing declines in state funding nor the dramatic increases in pension costs.

Chart 1: Property Taxes Increase Modestly, Not Enough to Offset for Decreases in State Funding or Increases in Pension Cost

State funding is driven by formula and CPS expects to experience a year-over-year decline of $106 million as a result of $56 million in decreased grants and a $50 million reduction in state contribution for pensions.

CPS has seen its state funding deteriorate since FY09, with state funding currently at levels below FY08.  This is largely due to the state’s failure to fully fund the General State Aid formula.  Although the state’s base per pupil “Foundation Level” is the same as it was in FY10, the state has not provided enough funding to meet that basic level.  As a result, each school district only receives a percentage of the funds they are otherwise entitled to.  This percentage, or “proration,” is 92% in FY 16 and has been as low as 87.2% in FY15.   As a result of proration, CPS has lost nearly $500 million since FY10 when proration began.  If the state had fully funded the formula in FY16, CPS would have received an additional $83 million, as shown in the light-shaded bars in Chart 2.

Until the state prioritizes education funding and reverses this pattern of decline, CPS’ budget woes will continue.

Chart 2: State Funding Has Declined Every Year Since FY10

Our major sources of federal funding are driven by formula and required to be used to provide supplemental services such as for low income students and English Language Learners.  Other than federal stimulus funds in FY 09- FY11, federal funds are essentially flat or declining. 

Chart 3: Federal Funds Support Supplemental Services and Have Been Flat or Declining

FY16 Overview

The FY 16 budget of $5,691.8 million is $64.4 million below the FY 15 budget of $5,756.2 million.  This is despite a $42 million increase in teacher pension payments to $676 million for FY16.  In fact, pensions have been such a significant driver of our expenses that if we take these pension payments out of the budget, the FY 16 budget would be $23.5 million below the FY 13 budget.  

FY16 Budget Protects Classrooms, But Relies on Partnership with Springfield to Solve Budget Crisis

The FY16 budget is $5,691.8 million, a decrease of $64.4 million FY15 budget of $5,756.2 million. Table I shows the major changes between the FY15 and FY16 budget.


Table 1: FY16 Proposed Budget

($ in millions) Changes: Favorable/(Unfavorable) FY 15 Budget FY 16 Budget FY 16 v. FY 15 Budget
Property Tax 2,227.3 2,307.8 80.5
Replacement Tax 188.9 207.8 18.9
Replacement Tax for Debt Service (56.2) (58.3) (2.1)
TIF surplus 25.0 87.2 62.2
All Other Local 137.4 158.1 20.7
Total Local 2,522.5 2,702.6 180.2
State Pension Funding Equity 480.0 480.0
GSA 1,022.6 952.2 (70.4)
GSA for Debt Service (304.5) (297.5) 7.0
Savings from Debt Restructuring, One Time Debt Funds 113.2 254.6 141.4
All Other State 676.4 668.0 (8.4)
Total State 1,507.7 2,057.3 549.6
Federal 863.6 852.6 (11.0)
Investment Income 0.1 0.1 0.0
Reserves 862.3 79.2 (783.1)
Total Resources 5,756.2 5,691.8 (64.4)
Expenditures 5,756.2 5,691.8 64.4
Net 0.0 0.0

Local Revenues

Property taxes have increased, primarily as the result of new property that has been added to the base.  As discussed below and more fully in the Revenue chapter, CPS is limited in the amount it can increase property taxes to the rate of inflation, which is 0.8% for FY16.  That generates $19 million of additional revenue and is an increase of about $19 for the average homeowner with a $250,000 home.  Most of the increase is due to new property: both more than was expected in FY15, which allow us to carry forward about $8.5 million to FY 16, and growth projected in FY16 of $42 million.  In addition, we are seeing more property tax revenue come in within our 60 day revenue recognition period, which accounts for the final $11 million of the shown increase.

Replacement taxes are tied to state corporate income taxes and our projections are based on state data.  Significantly, a portion of the Replacement Tax revenue we receive is dedicated to pay debt service and therefore is an offset to our operating revenue, as is General State Aid.  We have changed the format of our presentation this year to be able to show this more explicitly. The growing pressure of debt service on our operating budget is discussed more fully below and in the Debt Management chapter.

TIF surplus has increased in FY16 due to two factors.  The first is that the Mayor announced a freeze on central area TIFs, which will generate an estimated $125 million of revenue for CPS over FY 16 and the next four years.  Another portion of the increase results from timing.  A delay in processing means that FY15 TIF revenue is projected to arrive after our 60 day revenue recognition period and therefore will be counted in FY16 rather than FY15.  TIFs continue to provide support to CPS, both through surplus funds that help the operating budget, as well as over $2 billion in new schools and capital investments.

State Revenues

The FY16 budget relies on $480 million of new state pension funding equity in order to close the budget gap, avoid additional cuts and/or additional unsustainable borrowing.  

Base state revenues continue to decline, as discussed above.  In addition, this year in the budget book, we have changed our budget tables in this Overview to show how the increasing burden of borrowing is threatening the classroom.  General State Aid is partly used to pay for debt service, and this continues to divert more money each year away from the classroom.  This year, we are restructuring some of our debt to reduce the present burden on GSA, but this will lead to greater costs in the future. Additionally, we are using approximately $54 million of one-time resources to cover debt service and free up additional GSA (see Debt Budget Overview, below, and Debt Management chapter).  We recognize that these are not sustainable practices, and reiterate that our focus is reaching a comprehensive solution to our financial crisis by partnering with Springfield.

Federal Revenues

Federal revenues remain nearly level year-over-year and reflect formula-driven reimbursement for supplemental services provided to students.


In large part driven by $200 million in cuts announced on July 1, CPS’ expenditures are down $68.5 million from FY15 Budget.  Reductions are offset by a $24 million increase for interest on cashflow borrowing (discussed below), $42 million increase in pension costs, and other cost increases.  Note that because no contract has been reached with CTU, teacher salaries remain at FY15 levels.

Addressing the Budget Gap

$740 Million in Cuts Away from the Classroom Since FY11

We will continue to reduce Central Office, decrease the cost of operations, and eliminate unnecessary and ineffective programs to improve our district’s finances, but as we have said, we will not be able to cut our way to financial stability.  Between FY11 and FY15, we made $740 million in cuts away from the classroom, as shown in Table 2. In FY16, we have outlined an additional $200 million in cuts to operations, administrative expenses and programmatic expenses. We will continue to look for efficiencies and ways to streamline our operations outside of the classroom. We have reduced food service, custodial, and engineering expenses by streamlining work processes and restructuring how services are performed. Transportation costs have been reduced by better routing of buses.  We improved our procurement process to secure more favorable rates on services and items we purchase.  We eliminated programs that were not effective or efficient, and where the principles for funding allocation were unclear, we have rationalized those allocation models.


Table 2: Cuts Away from the Classroom Every Year

  FY11 FY12 FY13 FY14 FY15 TOTAL
Administration/ Operations 31.3 234.0 128.0 93.2 39.8 526.3
Programs 0.0 87.0 49.0 18.4 15.3 169.7
Debt Obligations 44.0 -- -- -- -- 44.0
TOTAL 75.3 321.0 177.0 111.6 55.1 740.0


In FY16 we eliminated approximately 1,400 full-time positions, including approximately 350 vacancies that were not filled. The reductions included $42.3 in savings after an 18-month review and effort to right-size the Diverse Learners program, $17.4 million in spending on Networks, $11.6 million in professional development for turnaround schools, $15.8 million for start-up funding for newly approved charters, $11.1 million for facility repair and maintenance, $3.2 million in central office funding for elementary sports coaching stipends, among other cuts. We have begun to phase-out CPS paying 7% of the employee share to pensions.

Pension Burden Accelerates in FY16

Pensions continue to be the single largest driver of CPS’s structural deficit. The CPS contribution to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) jumps to $676 million in FY16, from $634 million in FY15. CPS’s contribution is the equivalent to over $1,700 per student, or nearly 12 percent of the operating budget. CPS has paid more than $1 billion towards pensions over the last two years, money that could have gone to our classrooms.   

Chart 4:  CPS’s Required Employer Contributions to CTPF Grows Significantly ($ in millions)


At the same time, the state will contribute $2,266 per student for pension costs of teachers outside of Chicago and only $31 for CPS teachers.

Chart 5: State Pension Inequity is Dramatic

CPS was encouraged to see Springfield acknowledge the need for pension parity for the first time. In early August, the Senate passed SB 318, which provides continuing state funding for current Chicago teacher pension benefits.   

We look forward to further productive conversations with leaders in Springfield as well as the Teachers Union, in order to achieve pension parity with the rest of the state.

Cashflow Manageable Only Through Lines of Credit; Not Sustainable in Long-Run

As state funding has declined and the pension burden increases, CPS has drawn down its reserves in order to balance the budget.  This has left the district with no capacity to bridge the ebb and flow of revenue receipt and payments other than through short-term borrowing.

CPS receives its major revenue source—property taxes—in two installments, March and August.  However, most payments are made throughout the year, with two exceptions.  Debt service is due in February right before the March installment is collected and the pension payment is in June, right before the August installment.  Without reserves or borrowing, CPS does not have the cash to make both those large payments and the regular payments throughout the year.  In fact, as Chart 6 demonstrates, CPS will be borrowing through the line of credit almost the entire year.  Interest on this borrowing is adding $24 million to our operating budget this year.  

Chart 6: $935M in Cashflow Borrowing Needed to Manage FY16; Not Sustainable for Long-Run

Future Outlook Grim Without Funding and Pension Equity

 Until there is a comprehensive solution to CPS’ structural deficit, Chicago Public Schools will continue to face yearly budget challenges – and the children of Chicago will pay the price. As long as CPS is burdened by an unfunded pension cost and flat or declining state and federal revenues, the financial picture will continue to be grim. Preliminary projections through FY20 show that deficits over $900 million a year will continue.  Because there is no contract with the CTU, these estimates do not include any CTU salary adjustments.


Table 3: Future Financial Outlook Grim

($ in millions) FY 17 Projection FY 18 Projection FY 19 Projection FY 20 Projection
Property Tax 2,360.9 2,430.2 2,501.9 2,575.0
Replacement Tax 216.5 226.4 231.4 235.5
Replacement Tax for Debt Service (58.3) (58.3) (57.1) (57.7)
TIF surplus 27.7 33.0 30.1 43.0
All Other Local 158.1 158.1 158.1 158.1
Total Local 2,704.9 2,789.4 2,864.4 2,953.9
Additional State Pension Funding -
GSA 952.2 952.2 952.2 952.2
GSA for Debt Service (387.3) (419.8) (424.3) (427.1)
All Other State 668.0 668.0 668.0 668.0
Total State 1,232.9 1,200.4 1,195.9 1,193.1
Federal 852.6 827.6 802.6 777.6
Investment Income 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Total Resources 4,790.5 4,817.5 4,863.0 4,924.7
Expenditures Before Increases 5,691.8 5,725.6 5,760.4 5,796.2
Cost Increases
Pension Increase 19.8 20.4 21.0 21.6
Salary Increases* 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.2
Health Care inflation@3% 10.0 10.3 10.6 10.9
Total Cost Changes 33.8 34.8 35.8 36.8
Revised Appropriation 5,725.6 5,760.4 5,796.2 5,832.9
Net Surplus/(Deficit) (935.1) (942.9) (933.2) (908.2)

*Because there is no CTU contract, these estimates do not include any CTU salary adjustments.

Capital Budget Overview - Austerity Budget

In addition to the operating budget, the FY16 budget includes revenues and appropriations for capital projects to address urgent classroom repair issues. CPS issued a $178 million austerity capital budget for FY16 that limits investments to only previously announced projects and funding for emergency repairs and maintenance. This budget includes $115 million from CPS and $63 million from the City of Chicago, the Federal e-rate program and other sources.

As part of the proposed budget, past commitments made for multi-year financed projects will be met, and the district’s schools with the most pressing repairs and maintenance issues will be addressed. The $115 million in CPS-funded projects falls below the five-year plan released last year that projected $183 million in CPS investments for fiscal year 2016.  

As a result of the financial crises, many of our district’s most pressing needs, such as overcrowding relief and proven programmatic initiatives will go unmet. Instead, emphasis will be placed on basic building needs such as roofs, chimneys, and critical masonry repairs.

CPS has 39 schools that were above 120 percent of capacity as of the 20th day of this school year. This capital budget does not include any new schools or annexes.

While the investments are much needed, they do not address the increasing need to provide adequate space for areas of overcrowding within the district. Without assistance from a State capital program, CPS is unable to further address this outstanding need within the district due to limited financial resources.

The FY16 capital plan proposes nearly $69 million in roof, chimney and other building condition projects to address the most urgent needs throughout the District in order to keep students safe, warm and dry. Within the capital budget, CPS will invest $20.9 million to continue to install in air conditioning, upgrade IT infrastructure, address programmatic needs, improve athletic fields, and continue work on the district’s playground initiatives.

In 2013, fewer than half of the CPS campuses had air conditioning in every classroom. Since 2013, CPS has installed air conditioning at 177 CPS schools and after the newest air conditioners are installed at 35 schools this summer, only 65 school campuses will remain without air conditioners.

All schools with available space will have playgrounds through a multi-year initiative that concludes in FY16. In the coming year, 27 playgrounds will be completed as part of the play lot budget.

Debt Budget Overview

CPS Bonds Pay for Majority of Capital Program

In addition to seeking outside funding to support the capital plan, CPS has also made an annual commitment of its own resources to these long-term projects by issuing bonds, which are paid back over time. CPS currently has $6.2 billion of outstanding debt and the FY16 budget includes appropriations of $538.6 million for debt service. 

The largest source of revenue we use for debt service on bonds is General State Aid, also a key source of funding for our operating budget. As we continue to borrow money to make capital investments in our schools, debt service will take an increasing share of GSA. Even if the state provided just enough funding to keep GSA level, instead of the steady decline we have seen since FY09, debt service will consume 62% of unrestricted GSA by FY20.  This path of unsustainable borrowing must be addressed through equitable, growing state funding on which CPS can rely.

Chart 7: Debt Service will Consume 62% of GSA by FY20

Unfortunately, Borrowing Key Component in Addressing FY16 Budget Gap

Despite the pressures on GSA already created by funding the basic capital improvement program, FY16 relies on additional borrowing to help close the budget gap.  CPS will restructure its debt to provide $200 million in budgetary relief.  This effectively means that bonds that could be paid off now will be refinanced over a longer term.  While this frees up money for the operating budget today, it pushes greater costs into the future.  These one-time borrowing practices are unsustainable and do not address the structural deficit.

We also identified an additional $54 million of one-time money that can be used to pay debt service this year preventing GSA from being diverted to debt.

In total, $298 million of GSA would have gone to pay debt service and out of the classroom had we not made these choices.  Instead, only $43 million will be diverted.

We recognize these are not sustainable actions and that we will be facing the same financial challenges next year. This is not a choice we wanted to make, but felt we had to make until we can reach a solution with the state to achieve pension and funding equity.



The FY16 budget is based on a simple premise: Springfield must be a partner as we work to resolve the annual CPS budget crisis. CPS is willing to do its part to make reductions and work with our leaders to end pension inequity and reform the state education funding formula. At the same time, CPS is making its priority clear: keeping money in the classroom for this generation of students.


Appendix I: FY15 Operating Budget Financial Performance

FY15 Projected Results: Very Little Gap Remains Between Budget and Spending

CPS projects that it will end FY15 spending $5,562.6 million, or 97% of the $5,756.2 million budget.  However, much of the savings comes from programs that are reimbursed by federal or state grants: if the program starts late or otherwise does not spend what is budgeted, there is no reimbursement.  Thus, while spending is $194 million below budget, revenues are also below budget, for a net savings of only $41.5 million.


Appendix I Table 1: FY15 End-of-Year Estimates

($ in millions) Changes: Favorable/(Unfavorable) FY 15 Budget FY 15 Estimate Change FY 15 Est v. Bud
Property Tax 2,227.3 2,235.8 8.5
Replacement Tax 188.9 198.9 10.0
Replacement Tax for Debt Service (56.2) (58.3) (2.1)
TIF surplus 25.0 6.3 (18.7)
All Other Local 137.4 156.5 19.1
Total Local 2,522.5 2,539.3 16.8
State Pension Funding Equity 0.0
GSA 1,022.6 1,008.3 (14.3)
GSA for Debt Service (304.5) (304.5) 0.0
One Time Debt Funds 113.2 113.5
All Other State 676.4 673.9 (2.5)
Total State 1,507.7 1,491.2 (16.5)
Federal 863.6 711.1 (152.5)
Investment Income 0.1 0.2 0.1
Reserves 862.3 820.8 (41.5)
Total Resources 5,756.2 5,562.6 (193.6)
Expenditures 5,756.2 5,562.6 193.6
General Funds 4,433.8 4,443.0 (9.2)
School-Retained Funds 344.3 285.1 59.2
Grant Funds 978.1 834.5 143.6
Net Surplus/(Deficit) 0.0 0.0 0.0


In total, FY 15 revenues are $152.1 million below budget.  This is almost entirely explained by the decrease in federal revenue, as increases in local revenue are offset by decreases in state revenue.

Local Revenue Above Budget

Property taxes are projected to come in $8.5 million above budget because the actual property value (EAV) was higher than we estimated at the time of the budget, meaning that more new property came on the roles.  This is good news because this sets a higher base for next year and we see this carried forward in our estimates for FY 16.

Similarly, the Replacement Tax, based on state Corporate Income Taxes, came in slightly better than budget as a result of statewide trends.  TIF surplus was budgeted at $25 million, and the Mayor released more TIF surplus funds than we had anticipated.  However, due to delays in processing, we do not anticipate receiving the funds prior to our 60 day revenue recognition period.  Therefore, we are projecting only $6.3 million will fall into FY 15, while the balance, as well as the additional surplus that has already been declared, will fall into FY 16.

Other local revenue is up primarily as a result of additional grant funding from the City of Chicago.

State Revenue Below Budget

In Spring, 2015, the Governor and General Assembly made reductions across the board to bridge a shortfall in the FY 15 budget.  That included reductions in funding for education.  As a result, CPS, like all districts, received less funding than originally budgeted.


CPS expects to end FY 15 spending $194 million below budget.  This is entirely composed of unspent grant funds.  Individual schools retain certain funds if they are not spent during the fiscal year.  This includes funds they generate themselves, such as through fundraisers or grant writing, as well as their Supplemental General State Aid (SGSA).  In FY 15, we are estimating $59 million of spending below budget will be these funds that are returned to schools next year.  Additionally, we are projecting to spend $144 million less in all other grant funds.  One of the major areas of underspending is Title I (which serves low income students).  During FY15, the state received a waiver of restrictions on nearly $60 million of Title I spending, but plans had to be put in place to meet new, more flexible criteria.  Because this was so late in the year, we were unable to responsibly spend the funds.  They are available to us in FY16 and the Title I budget is based on the actual grant level, not the lower FY15 estimated spending level.  Various reasons explain the under-spending of other grant funds, but the result is generally the same: what we are unable to spend in FY15 will be available to us in FY16 and is budgeted in FY 16.

General Funds were slightly over budget at $9.2 million.  This is primarily the result of mandatory spending on diverse learners.   


Appendix II: FY16 Summary Charts


Salaries and benefits (including pension costs) to support the positions make up 68 percent of the budget (with more in practice, when charter, early childhood and other program spending is taken into account). 


Appendix II Chart 1: Salaries and Benefits Make Up 68% of the Budget

*CPS is the only district in the state required to pay its own teacher pension costs


Appendix II Chart 2: Of the 38,359 Positions, 97% Directly Support Schools


Appendix III: Major Changes from FY15 Projected Expenditures to FY16 Budget

Account FY2014 Expenditures FY2015 Projected Expenditures FY2016 Proposed Budget
Salary $2,538,768,994 $2,595,735,033 $2,553,376,374
Benefits 1,265,901,334 1,291,599,159 1,332,150,521
Contracts 1,209,042,567 1,221,900,204 1,150,889,861
Commodities 295,840,791 279,447,127 264,050,883
Equipment 68,664,819 56,327,529 22,019,721
Transportation 106,928,029 103,729,647 100,146,746
Contingencies 294,975 14,090,786 269,190,971
Others 390 4,369 0
Grand Total $5,485,441,899 $5,562,833,854 $5,691,825,076

Salaries and Benefits. 68 percent of CPS’s budget is spent on salaries and benefits. Charter schools, which also spend the majority of their budget on salaries and benefits, are funded through the “Contracts” accounts in the CPS budget. Taking all spending into account, salaries and benefit costs drive the CPS budget. The reduction to the FY16 salary budget reflects the closure of 1,400 positions, while the increase in benefits is driven by a $42 million increase in pension obligations.

Contracts. This category includes tuition for charter schools and private therapeutic schools and payments for clinicians - such as physical therapists and nurses - that are not CPS staff. This category also includes early childhood education programs provided by community partners. In addition, this category includes repair contracts, legal services, waste removal janitorial services, and other services. The reduction to the FY16 budget is due to district-wide cost reductions in department budgets for items such as professional development, AUSL management fees and building repairs.

Commodities. Commodities include spending on items such as food and utilities, with these two categories making up the largest share, as well as instructional supplies such as textbooks and software, and other supplies, such as postage, paper, and the like. The FY16 budget is down from FY15 expenditures as schools transfer funds into these accounts throughout the year.

Equipment. Equipment pays for the cost of furniture, computers, and similar other non-consumable items. The equipment budget is down from FY15 due to the elimination of startup and incubation funding for new schools, which often comes in the form of equipment. In addition, like commodities, schools transfer funds in equipment account for purchases throughout the school year. 

Transportation. The cost of bus service is the vast majority of the Transportation budget, but it also includes costs for CTA passes and reimbursement that we are legally required to provide. Transportation costs are down from FY15 expenditures due to cost-saving measures undertaken by the district.

Contingencies. This account includes two categories of items. The first represents funding that has been budgeted but not yet allocated to the account or unit where it will be spent. Under the SBB system, schools are not required to allocate all of their funds, but can hold some in contingency while they determine how they want to spend it. Similarly, we centrally hold grant funds in contingency, particularly if the grant is not yet confirmed. Spending should rarely take place from contingency accounts, which is why the budget is significantly higher than the actual expenditures. If these funds are spent at all, they are transferred to other budget lines first.

Page Last Modified on Tuesday, July 26, 2016