CPS releases school-by-school budget breakdown under new equity-based funding formula

Tuesday, May 28, 2024
CPS releases new school-by-school budget breakdown
After a new CPS budget breakdown was released Tuesday, some Chicago Public Schools parents want more transparency about the new funding formula.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As Chicago Public Schools is about to wrap the school year, many students, especially on the South and West sides, will return in the fall with schools that may include more teachers.

"Every school, for the first time now, has a foundational set of resources, including three elective teachers, arts, PE and a third teacher that the principal can choose," said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez.

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On Tuesday, CPS released a school-by-school budget breakdown under a brand new funding formula based on equity rather than enrollment.

"It's schools that have high needs high poverty, high special ed, high English language learners. Those schools are going to get more recourses. They're going to be smaller class sizes," Martinez said.

But Martinez admits a small number of schools will face cuts because of tighter budgets. At schools where enrollment is high and demographics are wealthier, class sizes may become a bit bigger.

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"We know there is a gap, and we are trying to figure how what it is. The time has been pretty much the same year by year, but with a brand new formula, it felt like we've not had enough time," said CPS parent and school board candidate Kimberly Brown.

Brown is asking CPS for more transparency on how the new formula was calculated. Her child goes to Nettlehorst Elementary in Lakeview, where parents fundraise to make up for budget shortfalls, a practice common for some North Side schools.

"They'll continue to fundraise, but there are hundreds of schools who never could fundraise," Martinez said.

While some individual schools may lose teachers, Martinez says overall, the new formula will add more teachers to the system. In the meantime, CPS faces close to a $400 million budget deficit and is in the process of negotiating a new teachers' contract.

CPS has until June 12 to publicly release how it plans to balance its budget. Martinez says he hopes to close the gap with cuts at the central office.

The school board will vote on the budget at the end of June.

READ MORE | CPS principals getting 1st look at budgets under new formula, drawing mixed reactions