March 8, 2013
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is continuing its efforts to reduce Central Office spending and consolidate resources to direct funds into the classroom as it faces a $1 billion budget gap in its Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 14) budget. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced today that CPS will cut an additional $17 million in spending from its FY 2014 Central Office budget.
“We are looking into every option possible to reduce Central Office spending and direct our limited resources directly into the classroom,” said CEO Byrd-Bennett. “We will continue to make smart decisions to find savings and consolidate resources so that we can provide every student in every neighborhood with the high-quality education they deserve.”
"CPS and CEO Byrd-Bennett will continue to make smart, necessary decisions that focus their limited resources on ensuring every child in every school has a high-quality education that will prepare them for success,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
CPS is making every effort to reduce day-to-day expenses in order to dedicate every possible dollar toward a high-quality education for every child in every neighborhood across the District. The FY 14 cuts announced today come from a variety of departments and are expected to save $17 million, which includes:
- $6 million from renegotiated healthcare contracts with vendors for the same or better services;
- $2.1 million from a migration to Google mail, calendar and applications;
- $2.1 million from reduced IT infrastructure support costs via renegotiated contracts and insourced consulting positions;
- $2 million from renegotiated office supply contracts;
- $2 million from insourced or eliminated consultants and contractors supporting systems operations activities;
- $1 million from a reduction in external legal counsel, managing more caseload and legal work using in-house expertise;
- $1 million from a new waste management contract that shifts the contract cost structure from a lump sum fee to a per-unit or volume-based fee that will better accommodate fluctuations in facilities and lend increased transparency on actual costs for service;
- $500,000 from the implementation of an easy-to-use purchasing system for schools that will drive the use of low-cost vendors through comparison shopping; and
- $200,000 from reductions in non-personnel costs in the communications office and new fundraising partnerships for back-to-school projects. The local funds that had been used previously for back-to-school efforts will be redirected to classrooms.
The $17 million in projected FY 14 savings follow tens of millions of dollars in central office spending cuts made in Fiscal Year 2013 (FY 13) and represent an ongoing effort by CPS to significantly reduce bureaucratic costs under tight budget constraints. FY 13 savings resulted from a variety of reduced central office services and supports such as less-frequent trash collection and the removal of more than half of the office’s printers.
A recently announced search for better-utilized space to save an additional $2 to $3 million in FY 14 further demonstrates CPS’s “kitchen sink” approach to reduce spending wherever possible. CPS also recently announced $15 million in savings from more efficient management of engineers and reduced utility costs, which will be invested in district-wide, full-day kindergarten.
CPS will continue to aggressively pursue non-classroom savings in advance of the July release of its FY 14 budget.
Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.