Chicago Public School per-pupil funding doesn't satisfy some parent groups

CPS principals will receive extra funding for each student next fall, however, some parent groups say the extra money is not enough to cover costs. (WLS)
April 10, 2014 4:08:14 PM PDT
CPS principals will receive extra funding for each student next fall, however, some parent groups say the extra money is not enough to cover costs.

CPS announced it has found an extra $70 million for the classrooms, which translates into about $250 per student.

''This is a good step but in order to reach the standards of other school districts nationwide we need more funding,'' said Kate Schott Bolduc of Common Sense Coalition.

Bolduc says the increase hardly makes a dent in her neighborhood school budget that she says is about $700,000 short of what is needed.

The parent group Raise Your Hand says the extra $250 per student will only cover teacher raises and inflation.

''Unless the additional money can cover the new mandates for PE and art and help fill the holes of the past cuts then it isn't really an increase,'' said Amy Smolensky of Raise Your Hand.

Budget experts question how CPS came up with the $70 million. The Civic Federation's Laurence Msall calls the new cash nothing more than a gimmick, while CPS calls it an accounting change. The money comes from taking two months of 2016 property tax revenues and moving it to 2015 budget.

''They hope that they will be able to borrow in 2017 for 2016 and go on and go, if the music stops and there are no chairs, more pressure on an already financially stressed school district,'' Msall said.