New Budget, New Funding Levels

New Budget, New Funding Levels

New budget.  New school funding levels. Big pension problems could lead to class size increases. Rauner's running for governor.  

CPS releases individual schools' 2013-14 budgets Tribune: Chicago Public Schools released budgets for individual schools to principals Wednesday and revealed a few more details on how it plans to close a budget gap of nearly $1 billion next year.

Chicago principals get more flexibility, likely less money in budget WBEZ: More than 40 district schools and the city’s 104 charter schools have been funded this way for several years. But the rates were set at roughly $6,000 per student for elementary schools and $7,000 per student for high schools. CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll said the per pupil rates for next year will be $4,429 per student in kindergarten through third grade, $4,140 per student in 4th through 8th grade, and $5,029 per student in high school.

Budgets given to principals, CPS taps 'reserves' Catalyst: On Wednesday, district officials said they will once again use one-time reserves to fill a budget deficit projected to be close to $1 billion. District officials made this announcement as they were releasing school budgets to principals.

Emanuel won’t rule out property tax, class size hikes as pension problem looms Sun Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday defended his failed attempt to ease pension payments bearing down on the Chicago Public Schools and did not rule out increases in property taxes or class sizes after coming up empty-handed.

Emanuel sees tough choices on school budget Tribune: Lawmakers' failure to extend pension relief blamed Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday sought to lay the blame for upcoming Chicago Public Schools budget cuts on state lawmakers' failure to extend pension relief, saying the loss in Springfield is now "on the doorstep of every school and every classroom in the city of Chicago."

CPS Announces Plans for New School Budgets NBC Chicago:CPS Announces Plans for New School Budgets. Chicago Public Schools Wednesday released draft budgets to the principals of remaining schools for the 2013-14 school year and announced further plans for curbing the organization's $1 billion deficit.

Illinois Pension Reform Stalls; What's the Next Step for Lawmakers? EdWeek: The state now has roughly $100 billion in unfunded pension obligations (including teacher and other public-employee pensions), and the National Association of State Retirement Administrators reported last month that pension contributions took up a greater share of state and local budgets in Illinois state and local governments than in any other state.

Comer College Prep principal wins honor for closing ‘achievement gap’ Sun Times: Principal James Troupis was honored Wednesday with the Ryan Award — given to school principals exhibiting “superior leadership in closing the achievement gap.” The award, given through the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation and Accelerate Institute, includes a $25,000 honorarium and the opportunity to guest lecture at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Troupis is one of three recipients of the award this year.

UNO scrambles to save itself Tribune (editorial): UNO Soccer Academy High School in the Gage Park neighborhood is supposed to open this fall. The school needs to open this fall. Some 600 students have signed up to attend and more are on a waiting list.

CPS teacher charged with raping longtime friend Sun Times: A Chicago Public Schools teacher has been charged with allegedly raping a longtime friend after the two watched a basketball game and drank wine at the victim’s South Side residence late last month. Lewis Himes Jr., 41, was already intoxicated when he came to the woman’s home with a bottle of wine on May 28, Cook County prosecutors said Wednesday. The woman, who had known Himes for the last two ...


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  • I was sort of hoping the CPS budget crisis cycle would not enter full swing until I got back from Colorado at the end of June, but alas it is already upon us. As some of you know every year I produce for Access Living a review of the CPS budget with an emphasis on funding for students with disabilities, so I will be spending some time with numbers once the CPS budget is formally released. We are provided support to do this review by the Woods Fund and the Alphawood Foundation.

    I am now 60 years old and it seems like I have been watching CPS argue it's broke to one degree or another most of my entire life. This year is no different.

    The multiple articles on the CPS release of the school based budgets that Alexander linked to the blog tell us a lot about where we are going, but it's not the full story. To get closer to the full story requires unfortunately and lot of number crunching once the actual budget is released. But here are some initial things that jump out at me.

    1. The Sun Times story by Fran Spielman and Lauren FitzPatrick raises the question of a CPS property tax increase, but declines to indicate how much money that would be likely to generate. Last year on June 29, 2012 Ms. Spielman wrote an article on the last CPS property tax increase. That increase went to the legal tax cap and generated only $41 million. Homeowners with houses valued at $250,000 were required to pay $28 more a year, according to CPS for that increase. CPS has the authority to raise the property tax cap only to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) each year, that level is determined by the Illinois Department of Revenue because of the Illinois Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, commonly called “PTELL.”. Last year the relevant inflation rate was only 1.5%. This year its 3.0% (see So in theory at least if CPS raised property taxes to the PTELL limit using that CPI index it would generate somewhere around only $82 million.

    2. The story Alexander linked to the blog from Becky Veva lays out the per-pupil funding that CPS is giving to schools in FY 14 using the new system, and last year's per pupil pilot schools funding levels by enrollment of the school. Comparing these figures is revealing. Here is what can be determined from this data:

    In FY 14 according to both Veva's article and Ms. Karp article CPS will provide elementary schools with $4,429 for each child in grades k-3. But last year the per pupil funded pilot elementary schools that had up to 300 students got $6,969 per student in grades k-3. By my math that's a $2,540 cut per child in grades k-3 in these small schools or a 36.5% cut. CPS is closing a number of schools in that size range so the number of schools potentially impacted at that level have probably declined. But it is even worse for a small school at grades 4-8 where they will get even less money, $4,140 per students in these grades. So the cut for these students in small schools would be 40.6%.

    The percentage of the cut in per student funding mathematically declines for the pilot elementary schools as the size of the elementary school increases. If the school had 1,000 students its k-3 funding per student funding would only decline by only 2.3%.

    3. Based on what has been reported yesterday it seems CPS is using its per pupil funding system to promote larger elementary schools. That is logical in terms of economies of scale, but inconsistent with research supporting smaller elementary schools in urban areas that for years CPS claimed to support. William Ayers and Michael Klonsky wrote an excellent article on the demise of CPS small schools for Phi Delta Kappan in 2006 which effectively predicted what I am seeing in these numbers (to get this article go to

    4. There will be additional funding going to schools in particular poverty related dollars and special education funding. So in some cases the percentage reductions when all funds are accounted for may be less dramatic that those I just threw out. But I think the trend is fairly clear. There will be a lot to think about in the upcoming budget and I will have a lot of work in front of me.

    Rod Estvan

  • Rod--the budgets favor schools that are selective enrollment and have cluster magnet programs, and if you have a 7-8th grade connected to a high school--which is still selective enrollment. Our principal and assistant were unusually quiet today--word is that at our large elementary school $100s of $1000s of dollars were removed from our budget. We expect teacher layoff and larger class sizes come August.

  • I have no doubt that there will be layoffs at schools which are a
    larger. But at least based on what I can see CPS schools that are smaller and do not have magnet programs generating extra funding may end up on life support.

    The actual budget will be the only way to know for sure.

    Rod Estvan

  • Rod: How might this impact SWD who are tuitioned out?

  • Cut school budgets-hurt schools-keep expensive network offices open--sinful.

  • The last four 3 year olds from Beverly-Mount Greenwood who tested for SPED were assigned to Langston Hughes. Would you allow your three year to be bussed into a high crime area? I will bet CPS is banking on parent refusal which will save them thousands.....very sad that they cannot go to Blair which is in a low crime area.

  • They need to close the network offices. I honestly really like the people from our network - they seem to have their hearts in the right place. But having worked in CPS for about a decade, I can't think of anything our network has done that had any real impact on my classroom. They came in and did a PD once. Once. In 10 years. Mostly they come in for visits where they walk around and chit chat with us but that's about it. I like that they are all so friendly and that there isn't any pressure, but...let's be realistic. Each of those people makes about 100K a year, and there are a LOT of them. I don't think they have enough impact on learning to justify their high salaries.

  • I have no information on CPS students with disabilities who may be privately placed. I suspect based on past practice CPS will want to close special schools and move them to the private sector. Because of the contracts CPS has cut with providers these placements are actually cheaper. There is no real public outcome data for either the private or public separate special schools.

    On the networks I have heard rumors some may be closed and the survivors will be assigned more schools.

    Rod Estvan

  • I agree. Those network people have no direct impact on classroom instruction. Exactly what do they do all day?

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