CPS Adjusts School Budgets to Reflect Actual Enrollment for School Year 2015-16 

CPS working with schools with changes in enrollment to ensure smooth operations for school community
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                              
Friday, September 25, 2015                                                                           

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

Chicago Public Schools today took the next step in its school budgeting process, providing principals with adjusted school budgets to reflect their actual enrollment, resulting in increased funding for schools that had more students than projected and decreased funding for schools with fewer students than projected. In the past two years, CPS has not reduced schools’ funding when their enrollment fell short of projections, but this year budgetary constraints mean that the district can no longer afford to hold those schools harmless.  
“CPS students are making strong academic progress and we are committed to building on their achievements,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “Working with our partners in Springfield on a comprehensive solution to our budget challenges – that achieves pension equity and prioritizes education funding – is vital to continuing the progress of our students, teachers and principals.”
Enrollment in district-run schools that receive SBB funds is 302,834. A FY16 School Budget fact sheet details the district’s overall K-12 enrollment. Because of the enrollment adjustments, 240 district-run schools will gain $22.7 million in funding, while 262 schools will see reductions of $36.0 million in funding.
Just as in previous years, teachers at district-run schools who are impacted by the funding adjustments will be notified on the 20th day of school, Oct. 5. Those teachers will be eligible to be rehired at schools with additional positions because of increasing enrollment, per CPS’ agreement with the union. Principals can begin hiring today.
Many schools planned for their enrollment adjustments by leaving positions vacant and holding contingency funds, so the impact could be much smaller than the estimated 325 positions that would be closed if schools made cuts entirely based on student-based budgeting adjustments. 
“CPS continues to work with our principals and their network chiefs to prepare for these adjustments, tracking enrollment leading up to school and in the first two weeks of class, so we believe principals are well-prepared for their adjusted budgets,” said Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “As a former principal myself, I know that our school leaders are the best positioned to make smart decisions about scarce resources, and making sure that they have the most impact on our students’ learning.”
CPS is also releasing an additional $5 million in Title I funding directly to schools to support learning. Schools that are particularly challenged by the budget adjustment can work with their network chiefs to apply for the District’s program support fund to make sure essential classroom services are provided. 
A detailed spreadsheet showing the school-by-school adjustments today – as well as adjustments made since July 13, when preliminary budgets were released – will be available upon request.
  • Even with a challenging budget, CPS is working to limit the impact on classrooms. In the 2015-16 school year, the per-student funding rate has been maintained, meaning that the dollars that follow every student will not be reduced from last year.
  • Charter school enrollment – and funding – will be reconciled on the 20th day of classes, Oct. 5.
  • In February, CPS began working with principals to accurately project enrollment.
  • In July, principals received preliminary budgets based on projected student enrollment.
  • All student-based budget funds – including diverse learner position allocations and diverse learner student-based funds in the All Means All pilot – have been adjusted to reflect actual student enrollment as of the 10th day of instruction. Title I and Supplemental General State Aid adjustments will be finalized on the 20th day, but schools are receiving estimates of their adjustments today based on 10th day enrollment.
  • As in past years, two days in October will be randomly selected for a final enrollment review for district-run schools.  Some minor enrollment shifts are expected between the 10th day of instruction and October's enrollment analysis. Schools with an attendance increase of more than 10 students between the 10th day of instruction and the October enrollment analysis will receive additional SBB funds. No schools will lose SBB funding following October's enrollment analysis.
  • Some schools could see additional funds restored. For the first time, funds are being frozen for some District schools where students appear to be enrolled but have not attended any days of school or received class schedules. If these students begin attending, the District’s SBB funding for those students will be restored. In the past, there have been concerns that schools might artificially delay students’ transfers until after 10th day in order to continue receiving their funds.
  • The District’s official enrollment count is taken on the 20th day. For schools that have budget adjustments from student-based budgeting and Diverse Learners, the 10th day enrollment is used.

Page Last Modified on Friday, September 25, 2015