CPS Realigns Special Education Funding to Meet the Needs of Every Diverse Learner 

Thorough Review Process Ensures Diverse Learners Receive the Resources Outlined in Their Plans
Wednesday, November 25, 2015                        
For more information, contact: 
CPS Office of Communications 
Phone: 773-553-1620      
CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will realign special education resources following a thorough review of diverse learner programs across the district to ensure resources are in place to meet the needs of every student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). As a result of this review, CPS will allocate 3,007 special education teaching positions and 2,687 paraprofessional positions in district-run schools compared to last year, when CPS funded 2,885 special education teaching positions and 2,662 paraprofessionals.
“From the beginning of this process, we have been focused on our students and as a result of our review, we will continue meeting the needs of every IEP,” CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said. “We recognize this process has been challenging for some of our families and school leaders, and we are committed to implementing an improved, bottom-up process for next school year that will allow principals to play a more robust role in determining how to meet their students’ needs.”
On Sept. 25, CPS released final school budgets based on each school’s enrollment on the 10th day of school. As a result, some schools received diverse learner funding allocations based on a flawed funding formula. To ensure that the needs of each student were met, CPS invited schools to appeal their funding decisions. A cross-functional team at CPS worked with Network chiefs, principals and school leaders to review each funding appeal, and CPS has begun notifying schools of their revised allocations.
The goal of the District’s funding review process was to ensure every student with an IEP receives the services outlined in their plans. As a result of this review, some schools gained positions while other schools lost positions as allocations were modified based on need. Due to the additional positions that have been allocated as a result of this process, there will be opportunities for most teachers impacted by position reductions to receive new positions at other District schools.
CPS will conduct a thorough review of its diverse learner resource allocation process to ensure improvements are made to next year’s budget process. The District is committed to implementing a bottom-up process next year so that principals have more input in determining proper resource allocations.
Due to a national shortage of teachers with special education certification, CPS anticipates that all teachers and paraprofessionals will have opportunities at other schools within the District. To help match impacted staff with schools that have job openings, CPS will host a job fair on Dec. 15, at the Local 399 Union Hall and Training Facility, to link impacted staff with principals seeking to fill vacancies at their schools. Impacted teachers and paraprofessionals will receive a notification from the CPS Talent Office that will provide details on the job fair as well as additional information on how they can explore new opportunities within the District.
A spreadsheet showing allocations to District-run schools is available upon request. 
The 94 District-managed schools participating in the All Means All pilot program, which provides student-based funding allocations to schools instead of position allocations, received a total of $130.3 million this school year. Significantly more schools participated in the All Means All program this year, so a funding comparison is not accurate.

Page Last Modified on Wednesday, November 25, 2015