Chicago Board of Education Adopts FY17 Budget to Put District on a Path to Stability, Continue Academic Success and Protect Classrooms 


District Continues to Invest in Schools While Reducing Overall Operating Budget, Cutting $232 Million in Spending over Last Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, August 24, 2016                                                                        

For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
Phone: 773-553-1620

CHICAGO
The Chicago Board of Education unanimously adopted the proposed Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) budget for the coming school year, investing in schools while reducing the overall operating deficit by $232 million and putting the District on a path toward fiscal stability.

“The Board’s priorities for this budget were to 
protect our classrooms, reduce our administrative footprint, and make sure that our students can continue their solid progress – and while this budget isn’t perfect, it does represent an important step forward for the District, the State and most importantly, our students,” said Board President Frank Clark. "Chicago taxpayers and leaders in Springfield have taken significant steps this year to provide city schools with additional funding to protect crucial investments and programs, and we are energized to begin a new year with the resources and stability our schools need to reach even greater heights of academic achievement.”

“From school attendance to ACT scores to graduation rates, Chicago’s students are doing better than ever; this budget supports their progress and helps them build on their gains,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “At this time last year, we were preparing to open school while facing the worst financial crisis CPS had ever seen. Today, we are presenting a balanced operating budget that reduces spending by $232 million from last year while continuing to make the investments we know our students need. We are grateful to Chicago’s taxpayers for shouldering an additional $250 million in property taxes, and to our leaders in Springfield for acknowledging that we must treat teacher pensions equally, and improve education funding for children living in poverty.”

There are several important developments in this budget proposal that stabilize the District’s finances and improve on the FY16 budget:

  • This budget significantly reduces expenditures within the District’s control, with an operating budget that is $232 million less than the FY16 operating budget, even as pension contributions and health care continue to skyrocket. Among the savings: closing 433 administrative positions, strategic sourcing in procurement, increasing health care contributions for non-union employees and phasing out the pension pickup for non-union employees.
  • This budget includes major administrative streamlining efforts – including nearly $200 million in cost-savings measures that have already been realized, with tens of millions more in projected savings – that reduce the District’s footprint and redirect limited funds toward the classrooms.
  • Recognizing that the District cannot do this alone, the plan relies on collaboration from key stakeholders:
    • Chicagoans play a greater role in protecting classrooms, by restoring a property tax levy of $250 million for teachers’ pensions – ensuring that more funding remains in the classroom. For a Chicagoan with a $250,000 home, the property tax hike in this budget will be roughly $245.
    • This budget includes a landmark “Equity Grant” from the State of Illinois, which acknowledges that the State needs to improve how it funds the education of students in poverty. This grant serves as an important first step as the state determines how to best reform education funding.
    • This budget includes a $215 million commitment from the State for the normal costs of CPS teachers’ pensions – a step in the right direction toward pension equity with other teachers in Illinois. CPS takes state leaders’ commitment on pension funding seriously. Without state pension funding, CPS would have been forced to cut an additional $215 million from classrooms, and that is unacceptable. Among other key investments, CPS will also make programmatic investments to enhance the academic experience at a number of schools, including Dunbar, Dyett and Brown. The District will also continue its expansion of full day pre-K throughout high-need community areas, offering 53 new classrooms over last year, a 22 percent increase. Five schools will be added to the District’s Dual Language program, for a total of 20 schools where students can develop literacy skills and fluency in English and Spanish. In the coming year, the District will also increase IB enrollment by more than 20 percent by SY 2017-18. The District will expand enrollment for existing IB schools next year from 13,310 students to 15,198 students, and continuing expansion to 16,338 students in SY18.

Among other key investments, CPS will also make programmatic investments to enhance the academic experience at a number of schools, including Dunbar, Dyett and Brown. The District will also continue its expansion of full day pre-K throughout high-need community areas, offering 53 new classrooms over last year, a 22 percent increase. Five schools will be added to the District’s Dual Language program, for a total of 20 schools where students can develop literacy skills and fluency in English and Spanish. In the coming year, the District will also increase IB enrollment by more than 20 percent by SY 2017-18. The District will expand enrollment for existing IB schools next year from 13,310 students to 15,198 students, and continuing expansion to 16,338 students in SY18.

In addition, in FY17, CPS will make much-needed investments in schools’ infrastructure and capital needs in the classroom using new funding streams. The District is investing at least $338 million in needed capital improvements to schools, including repair, modernization and overcrowding relief in neighborhoods throughout the city. Later this fall, the District will continue working to secure funding for additional projects that will not only address overcrowding and deferred maintenance, but to also complete the District’s efforts to modernize schools’ online infrastructure, air conditioning projects and playlots for every child in the city.

To fund capital projects, last fall, Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago City Council passed this Capital Improvement Tax levy for CPS, and it will generate approximately $45 million a year in revenue. The District will seek to maximize this new revenue stream beginning in FY17 and anticipates announcing this supplemental capital plan later this fall.

For additional information on the FY17 budget, please view the detailed District’s budget at: www.cps.edu/budget.

Page Last Modified on Thursday, August 25, 2016