Each summer, CPS finalizes our district’s budget for the next fiscal year.  Creating a budget for the nation’s third largest school district is a big undertaking, but always begins the same way: working with principals to build budgets for their schools.

The budget season began in earnest today, as principals received their initial budget and funding allocations for the coming school year.  These budgets provide good news for our school communities, as they include no new cuts to per-student funding rates and move us closer to financial stability.

Throughout last school year, you heard dire predictions about what CPS budgets might look like.  An unequal approach to education funding had taken its toll, forcing our district to consider devastating cuts to our schools. We even wondered if schools would be able to open on time.

Thankfully, our worst fears are now behind us.

What Changed?

The budgets provided to principals today are only possible because stakeholders came together. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of our state leaders, our District, and you — Chicago’s taxpayers—our schools will begin the year on more stable ground.

Last month, lawmakers in Springfield reached a compromise on several important pieces of legislation that begin to address the inequity of our state’s education funding system – a system members of our school communities were instrumental in reforming.  

While not permanent, these legislative actions – together with the assistance from Chicago’s taxpayers – provide more than $600 million to CPS this year.   

Coupled with our District’s own management efficiencies (totaling more than $180 million), CPS has reduced its nearly $1 billion deficit significantly.

What’s Next?

Even after major reductions to our deficit, a gap of $300 million remains – and reflects the continued need to do more with less.  

It also underscores the need for a permanent solution to our state’s worst in the nation approach to funding education.  

The budgets released today protect our classrooms and the academic progress of our students. Our focus now is to build on that momentum, finding new ways to innovate and spending every dollar efficiently so that we can restore much-needed financial stability to our schools.

—You can learn more about CPS’ budget here.