September 23, 2013
CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) informed principals today that any school whose 20th day enrollment is higher than projected will receive additional per-pupil dollars for every additional student.
Schools whose 20th day student enrollment is below what was projected for School Year 2013-2014 (SY12-14) will not lose funding under Student Based Budgeting (SBB) this year, allowing these schools to transition to the new SBB funding model over the course of the current school year.
“As a former principal and teacher, I believe principals – not the central office – should control how their education dollars are spent as they have the best understanding of how to meet the academic needs of their students, and Student-Based Budgeting allows them to do exactly that,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “While this is the most fair and equitable way in which to deliver these precious dollars to our schools, I believe schools should have a year to transition to this new system. We will work closely with those principals during this time of transition to ensure they are prepared to fully implement Student-Based Budgeting in School Year 2014-2015.”
The SBB funding model, which provides principals with a set amount of per-pupil dollars for every student enrolled at their school, ensures that the District’s limited core education dollars are spent equitably and transparently. Regardless of school type – neighborhood, charter, selective enrollment and others – every child in the Chicago Public School system receives the same dollars to support their core education needs. Since core education dollars follow the student under SBB, funding is based on the number of students enrolled at each school.
School budgets are usually set for the school year based on 20th day enrollment numbers, which provides a more accurate picture of enrollment for the school year than enrollment projected prior to the start of school. In order to ensure a smooth transition to student based budgeting, CPS will ensure that in this first year, schools will not lose SBB funding even if their 20th day student enrollment was lower than their initial projections. This will provide them with time to transition to full implementation of SBB next school year.
While today is the 20th day of school for CPS, schools will receive their 20th day enrollment figures tomorrow once these numbers are finalized.
Below is the full content of the letter sent today from CEO Byrd-Bennett to principals, parents, staff and LSCs informing them of the transition to SBB this school year:
September 23, 2013
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Thanks to the hard work of CPS students, teachers, principals, families and community members, students across Chicago have continued to make steady and meaningful academic progress. Because of our collaborative efforts, more students than ever are earning high school diplomas, attending college, and are on the path to success in career and in life.
To help ensure that we continue this progress and give every child in every community the chance to reach their potential, CPS is committed to investing our limited resources equitably and transparently across all District schools. To meet that goal, this year we launched Student Based Budgeting (SBB), which ensures that all education dollars follow students to the classroom.
Regardless of school type – neighborhood, charter, selective enrollment and others – SBB creates the same funding model for all schools so that every Chicago Public School student receives the same dollars to support their core education needs. This ensures equity and transparency in the way CPS funds its schools.
I also understand that there is not a one size fits all approach for school budgets and that principals – not the Central Office – are best positioned to know how their funding should be used to benefit their students. SBB will give principals unprecedented control over how to spend core education dollars, allowing them to create their own education budgets and staffing plans in a way they believe will best meet the academic needs of their students. For the first time, principals control over half of their school budgets.
CPS has listened to parents, principals and teachers and wants to make sure that the transition to SBB this school year is as smooth as possible and not disruptive to the classroom. As part of our commitment to schools under SBB, any school that has more students than what was originally projected will receive additional funding for each additional student.
However, knowing that this first year of SBB will be one of change and adjustment for many schools – and after giving this decision careful thought and deliberation – those that have fewer students than originally projected will not lose SBB funding at this time. We believe this will provide principals and staff with the opportunity to have the most successful transition possible during year one of SBB.
Over the next several months, we will work closely with principals whose schools lost enrollment this current year and are expected to maintain the same lower enrollment next year to ensure SBB will be fully implemented in time for school-based budgets next summer – meaning that next year those schools will receive funding based on the actual number of students enrolled.
Going forward, SBB will be a strong tool for principals as they tackle the realities of providing a quality education in a school district that faces a one billion dollar budget deficit. The additional autonomy provided
under this system will allow them to control how all core education dollars are invested in order to best meet the unique needs of their own students – whether hiring staff, purchasing supplies or funding education programs – while providing transparency in funding and creating stability in planning for the school year.
Principals will receive their 20th day enrollment and updated budgets by the close of business tomorrow, Tuesday, September 26th. With the support of educators, families, and communities there is nothing our children cannot achieve. Thank you for your continued contribution to providing our students with a brighter future.
CEO, Chicago Public Schools