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.

Check out our Reader's Guide for more information.

Download your own copy of the FY16 Budget Book Summary.

We want to hear from you! Please provide feedback and ask questions by contacting us.

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

Organization Chart

Reader’s Guide

The Chicago Public Schools’ FY2016 Proposed Budget is the financial and policy plan proposed to the Chicago Board of Education for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015 and ending June 30, 2016.

With a projected budget deficit for FY16 of over $1 billion, CPS worked with State of Illinois leadership in an attempt to resolve funding issues before the end of the District’s budget process. This included delaying budget guidance to schools and the release of this budget book to the latest possible moment in order to work with our partners in Springfield on a comprehensive budget resolution. No such resolution has emerged as of yet (at the issuance of this Budget, the State of Illinois has not yet passed its FY16 budget). Guidance to schools about their budgets was therefore issued on July 13, 2015, and school budgets were received for review and incorporation by CPS on July 24. This delay meant that the new fiscal year began without a finalized budget for CPS. In order to provide interim funding, the Board voted to authorize up to $800 million in spending for the months of July and August 2015, until a full budget could be finalized.

Most likely you are reading the FY2016 Proposed Budget on the Chicago Public Schools website. This site contains the official budget document as well as interactive features that make additional information more easily accessible.

Interactive Budget Reports

We are providing enhanced interactive budget reports that allow you to view the entire operating budget and get more detail on any component of the budget.

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, commodities and contracts
  • 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 reports are designed to provide more detail as you scroll down the page. For example, if you search under “Budget by Unit”, the parent unit – that is, top-level departmental unit – FY16 budget vs. FY15 expenditures year-to-date is displayed first, followed by a list of full time-equivalent positions budgeted vs. filled at the fiscal year end. The individual department units that roll up to the parent unit are then shown, with budgets and positions listed by Fund-Grant. For tracking purposes, grants that are subject to rollover each year are assigned a new 6-digit identifying number, and some grant periods cross fiscal years.

Expenses are identified by program numbers, which correlate to State function codes. Code 1000, for example, pertains to all instruction-based expenditures. Select State Function Description to get a complete list of program names and numbers.

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 for more detailed information.

Budget Book Chapters

The FY2016 Proposed Budget includes narrative overviews of Chicago Public Schools (“CPS”) programs, goals, financial policies and procedures, a budget summary and detailed financial tables. These chapters are accessible from the list of links on 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 CPS seeks to achieve in the current fiscal year and in the future. Summary tables provide additional details of the financial picture.

Included in this chapter is a description of each of the District’s revenue sources, the assumptions and factors that influence our revenue projections and year-to-year comparisons.

Schools and Networks:
This chapter provides an overview of school budgets and the resources given to schools, as well as a year over year comparison of total school funding. It defines the various types of schools in Chicago, the demographics and the programs provided to students. District-run schools are organized into Networks, which provide administrative support and leadership development.

Profiles of each Central Office department, including its mission and major programs, FY2016 budget summary, major accomplishments and key budget initiatives are included in this chapter.

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. Because capital projects often take longer than one year to complete, a separate capital budget is prepared. This chapter outlines the projected expenditures for multi-year projects and explains the impact of the capital budget on operating expenses. A separate capital budget website with more detailed information on all of the projects can be found on the CPS website.

Debt Management:
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 a list of the current outstanding debt, proposed debt issuances and all debt service requirements.

Organization Chart:
An updated organizational chart reflecting the new administration will be posted to this report when it becomes available.

Fund Balance Statement:
This chapter explains CPS’ goals for 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 CPS:  General Fund, Special Revenue Funds, Capital Projects Funds and Debt Service Funds.  This year we are adding a new presentation that better distinguishes how funds are received and spent: General Budgeted Funds, School Generated Funds, State and Federal Grant Funds, Capital Projects Funds and Debt Service Funds.

Cash Management:
This chapter provides detail about CPS’ projected cash flow throughout the fiscal year, and explains its cash management strategies.

In this section we have included answers to some of the typical questions we receive about the Budget Book.

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.



Page Last Modified on Tuesday, July 26, 2016