Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I sometimes get a login page when I try to access the Budget Interactive Reports?
Your Browser session for the Interactive Reports have probably timed out. This is an easy fix. All you have to do is close the previously opened browser window. Open a new browser window and click on the "Interactive Reports" on cps.edu website to access the budget interactive reports.
Is there any way to read the Budget Report offline?
Yes there is. You can download a PDF of the full Budget Report and have it available anytime you need it.
There is a lot of great information here but where should I start?
You're right. There is a lot of information on the Budget Report. Try starting at the Reader's Guide. The Reader's Guide page will give you a general information on what each chapter of the Budget Report means.
When does the fiscal year start and end?
The Chicago Board of Education's fiscal year begins July 1, 2019 and ends June 30, 2020.
Can I look at an individual schools budget?
Can I also look at the previous year's budget?
What are some highlights of the FY20 proposed capital budget?
- Critical building improvements for more than 300 schools across the city, with 93 percent of the $619 million in guaranteed capital funding going to schools that serve majority low-income students
- $263 million in funding for critical maintenance projects and interior improvements including roof, envelope, and mechanical repair and replacement, and critical interior repairs
- $30 million to launch the second phase of the district’s high school science lab modernization project to add, upgrade, or renovate science labs in 29 high schools
- $85 million in devices and infrastructure modernization at over 130 schools to continue expanding access to modern technology
- $10.5 million for ADA accessibility
What are some highlights of the FY20 proposed operating budget?
- $5 million in school-level resources to support new programs awarded as part of the district’s new academic program application process
- $27 million in programmatic resources to support expansion of free full-day Pre-K for four-year-olds
- $31 million in equity grant funding to 219 elementary and high schools with low or declining enrollment to support school instructional and programmatic needs
- $34 million increase in special education teachers and paraprofessionals positions
- $12 million to support English Learners at more than 100 schools
- CPS launched its first Equity Grants this year to better support schools with low and declining enrollment. By prioritizing funding for these schools, the district is helping to ensure that they can offer an academic program that meets the needs of all their students. The allocation for FY2020 totalled $31M across 219 elementary and high schools.
How were Equity Grants allocated?
- To ensure Equity Grant funding was distributed to the schools that need it most, CPS allocated funding in the following manner:
- Elementary Schools: underutilized schools under 450 students received $750 per student below the 450 student threshold up to $300,000
- High Schools: underutilized schools under 600 students received $1200 per student below the 600 student threshold up to $300,000
- Schools with enrollment declines that exceeded 10% received at least $100,000 in Equity Grant funding , regardless of utilization status
- The nine high schools with enrollment declines greater than 20% each received an additional $100,000 in Equity Grant funding
- If a school received $300,000 through the equity supplement formula, they could receive up to $400,000 total in additional funds if they also qualified under the 20% loss metric.
What conditions came with the Equity Grants (how can and can't they be used)?
- Equity grant funds function like SBB dollars and are intended to support student academic needs. Principals were able to make decisions about how to best utilize this funding to strengthen their academic programs.
How do the Equity Grants impact overall school budgets?
- Based on the publicly available dataset published on the CPS budget website, 57 schools incurred a budget cut greater than $100K. Of these schools, 41 received an equity grant at an average of $170K per school. Only 113 of the 513 district-run schools that operated in FY2019 incurred an overall budget reduction due to declining enrollment; the other 400 saw a year over year increase in their total budget.
What investments are being made in FY20 for social workers, nurses, and case managers?
- In July 2019, Mayor Lightfoot and CPS leadership committed to expanding staffing levels for key support roles over the next five years. The FY2020 budget allocates $10 million to augment staffing levels for additional nurses, social workers, and case managers. The following positions will be prioritized for the district’s highest-need schools to help ensure equitable access to student supports.
- Nurses: The district has allocated $2.5 million to hire an additional 30 nurses during FY2020 to ensure more schools can provide students with consistent, high-quality nursing services.
- Social Workers: To meet the needs of both special education and general education students, CPS has allocated $3.5 million to fund 35 additional social worker positions in FY2020. Due to the limited candidate pool available, the district does not anticipate being able to fill these vacancies immediately, but we are committed to developing the recruiting pipeline needed to begin staffing these positions over the course of the next year.
- Case Managers: To ensure diverse learners receive the supports and services they need to access a high-quality education, the district is allocating $3.6 million in FY2020 to fund 30 additional case manager positions for schools in high-need communities with a high diverse learner student population.
Is the $10 million in social worker, nurse, and case manager funding actually in the operating budget or is it in contingency?
- Yes, the $10 million to support the multi-year expansion of social worker, nurse, and case manager funding is in the budget, and positions have been opened to hire these additional staff members.
- When the budget was initially introduced, funding was allocated to contingency budget lines due to the short timeline between when the staffing commitment was announced and when the budget was finalized. The funding has since been used to open new positions and the district has begun working to identify qualified candidates to fill these roles. The additional positions 95.0 FTE are reflected in the most recent CPS position file.
How will you help ensure the positions get staffed?
- To address candidate shortage and establish a stable pipeline of qualified candidates, the district is also investing $400,000 in FY2020 to support ongoing clinical staff recruitment pipeline programs and efforts.
It appears that the central office staff have increased in FY20. Why?
- Central office administrative positions are still down 13 percent from FY2014. The district’s financial crisis that occurred prior to state education funding reform forced unsustainable cuts to central office from FY2016 to FY2018, but as the financial situation stabilized, CPS restored essential administrative positions and invested in key district priorities. The majority of the increase in staffing is connected to key initiatives (i.e. Curriculum Equity Initiative) and expansion in departments that support the work around Protecting Chicago’s Children.
How much TIF funding is included in the proposed FY20 Budget?
- CPS’s FY2020 operating budget includes $97 million of TIF surplus funding. This matches the amount received in FY2019, which is the highest level of TIF surplus funding CPS has budgeted in recent years.
What does the $-115M net negative cash balance mean?
- The FY19 end of year net negative cash balance of $115 million is calculated by taking cash CPS had in the bank on 6/30/19 of $335 million and subtracting $450 million in short-term debt borrowed against FY19 property tax revenues. Based on the size of our overall budget and the schedule on which we receive key revenue sources like property taxes, CPS does not have large enough cash balances to sustain day-to-day operational expenditures during our full fiscal year and must use short-term borrowing to account for periods when property taxes and other funding sources have not yet been received.
- State education funding reform has helped improve our financial situation, but our cash position continues to be less than ideal and still recovering after years of depletion to make pension payments without external revenue help . Therefore, CPS must supplement revenues with short-term debt or TANS (tax-anticipation notes) borrowed against property tax funds that will be received later in the fiscal year.