October 16, 2012
At two separate public hearings this evening, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) presented its amended 2013 Fiscal Year (FY 13) which funds year one of the new Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) contract. The amended budget reduces administration, finance and operations spending in the central office, avoiding cuts to classrooms as promised by CPS, the Board of Education and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. CPS held the public hearings at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Prep High School and Walter Payton Prep High School.
“These public hearings are critical to ensuring that members of the public have an opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed budget we have laid out,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “Although CPS faces both educational and financial challenges, we have chosen to put our kids and their academic achievement first. As we move forward in addressing our long-standing fiscal issues, we will continue to make tough decisions without sacrificing investments in our children’s education.”
The CTU contract adds a total of $103 million to the FY 13 budget, all of which is tied to salary increases. Although the Chicago Board of Education approved the FY 13 budget in August, CPS management has amended the budget in order to account for these additional costs. In addition to receiving public feedback through these two hearings, CPS will present the revised budget to the Board on October 24, the next scheduled meeting. The $103 million in salary increases includes:
- $59 million for 3 percent Cost of Living (COLA) increases
- $33 million for steps increases
- $5 million for lanes increases
- $6 million in salary increases for non-teaching CTU positions.
Savings and revenue identified to fund the first year of the CTU contract include:
- Operations: Reduce lunchroom costs and general fund subsidy ($11 million); Achieve additional procurement savings ($10 million)
- Administration: Delay or cancel filling vacant, non-teaching positions ($8 million); Additional administrative reductions, targeting savings from printer consolidation, limiting equipment purchases, subscriptions and professional memberships ($4 million)
- Financial: Capitalize interest on FY 12 bond sale ($13 million); Sell surplus properties ($15 million); Debt restructuring ($42 million).
These savings and new revenues are in addition to the more than half-billion in savings already made by the District over the last year.
The District continues to face long-standing financial challenges including looming pension obligations in the coming year.
Chicago Public Schools serves 402,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.