CPS Releases Proposed $9.5 Billion Budget for 2023

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today released its proposed $9.5 billion budget for FY2023, focused on robust classroom instruction, increased mental health supports, and social-emotional learning, greater access to the arts for a well-rounded education, capital investments to deliver safe and modern facilities, and expanded professional development and ongoing coaching for teachers.  The FY2023 budget reflects an eight percent per-pupil increase in school funding for student instruction and other school-level priorities.

“This proposed budget reaffirms our commitment to academic excellence while addressing mental health and other much-needed supports following a challenging past two years,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “These investments will set the foundation for what CPS students can expect in classrooms, from reasonable class sizes to more staff members working to tap the full potential of our bright and talented children. With this budget, our unstoppable students will stand ready to compete and collaborate in their communities, with their schools and beyond.”

The balanced budget, to run from July 1 to the end of June 2023, reflects strategic investments of state, local and federal funds across all schools and departments, with $4.6 billion in school-level funding, an increase of more than $240 million from FY2022.

Out of a total allocation of $2.8 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) funds, the District has used nearly 45 percent ($1.26 billion) of the FY2020, FY2021, and FY2022 ESSER funds to support CPS students and families throughout the pandemic. These funds allowed CPS to implement new health and safety measures in schools, adjust to a temporary period of remote learning, hire additional staff to support academic recovery, increase social-emotional learning (SEL) resources for students, and address other school-level priorities, including hiring and retaining quality staff. The FY2023 budget includes $730 million in ESSER funds to advance the District’s priorities, as follows:

  • $404 million to support school-level funding for district priorities and other local-level needs

Investment

$

Funding for early childhood programs above what is funded by state grant funding

$100M

Centrally-funded teacher positions at every school on top of core funding allocations

$72M

Funding above projected Fall 2022 enrollment

$70M

Equity Grant support for small, under-enrolled schools

$50M

Funding for loss cap and program support for schools to address outlier situations and support meeting the instructional priorities

$20M

School operational support via school assistants and part-time staff

$16M

CPS Virtual Academy

$4M

Charter Proportionate share of additional investments in school funding and recovery supports

$72M

Total

$404M

  • $230 million to support investments in academic recovery, social and emotional learning, and other student supports

Investment

$

Instructional coaching and school-based professional learning

$45M

Summer school programming

$30M

Skyline curriculum materials and supports

$27M

Out of School Time (OST) programming for all schools

$25M

Tutor Corps

$25M

Instructional support leaders and content leads to support teacher professional development

$15M

Mental health supports and trauma-informed interventions

$13M

Additional centrally funded second counselor positions for high-need schools

$13M

Re-engagement, home visits, and truancy prevention programs

$12M

Chicago Roadmap funding

$8M

Athletic directors

$7M

Universal Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum

$5M

Early literacy support

$5M

Total

$230M

  • $96 million to cover school-based operational positions, other pandemic-related needs, and other contingent expenses

“We’re grateful for these additional and much-needed federal funds,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez, who is overseeing his first CPS budget as CEO but served as the District’s Chief  Financial Officer more than a decade ago. “We’re investing these funds strategically, setting a new foundation for success to ensure schools have the resources and capacity to move every student forward.”

The District has budgeted for a total of 43,378 full-time employees (FTE), an increase of 1,621 FTE from FY2022 with allocations that include an additional:

  • 524 teachers;
  • 745 school support staff, including classroom paraprofessionals, case managers, security guards, and other school-based personnel;
  • 155 citywide student support personnel, including nurses, social workers, and other personnel working in schools;
  • 103 additional staff in the Offices of Teaching and Learning, College and Career Success, and Diverse Learner Supports and Services to support core instructional priorities and content capacity;
  • 66 instructional support leaders and other network-based staff to support school leaders and staff with core instructional priorities; and
  • 17 administrative staff, including 12 new positions to support network safety and crisis teams

NEED FOR ADEQUATE AND EQUITABLE STATE FUNDING

This proposed budget will support our students and staff but the reality is that Chicago Public Schools and our students continue to suffer the impact of inadequate and inequitable funding. State funding has improved since 2017 under the state’s Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) model, but despite these recent improvements, CPS remains underfunded. In FY2022, CPS is still funded at only 68 percent of what the state’s EBF says the District needs to be “adequately” funded. This leaves CPS nearly $1.8 billion short of resources that could better support schools and students. The District will continue to advocate for the state and federal funding needed to ensure that CPS can fulfill its mission to provide a high-quality public education for every child, in every neighborhood, that prepares each for success in college, career, and civic life.

 

FY2023 PRIORITIES: ESTABLISHING A NEW STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE IN OUR SCHOOLS

CPS is committed to ensuring that students learn, grow, and succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. The District’s FY2023 budget reflects intentional budgeting decisions that strengthen the instructional core and support the following priorities:

  • High-quality instruction, and standards-aligned, rigorous, and culturally-responsive curriculum for all students

    • Increased opportunity and funding for diverse learners

    • Reduced class sizes and split grade-level classes

    • Expanded teacher professional development

    • Increased access to arts, dual language, pre-K, and more special classes and programs

    • Academic interventions to keep students from falling behind

  • Healthy and safe environments

  • Protect school communities from COVID-19

  • Increase nurse staffing to an all-time high

  • Maintain safe and secure schools and school communities

  • Social-emotional learning (SEL) supports for students with a focus on communities most in need

Collectively, community feedback drove CPS leadership to increase District-level investments in key areas so all schools are able to provide essential programs and services regardless of the number of students enrolled. This approach allows CPS to soften the impact of shifting enrollment on school-based budgets, particularly for pre-k and diverse learners, where the District has seen significant enrollment shifts.

Specifically, CPS is providing an additional $14 million in Equity Grants for small, under-enrolled schools to 238 schools to ensure that our smaller learning environments can provide the same robust, well-rounded education and high-quality teachers as our larger schools. For schools with severe enrollment declines, the District is also allocating an additional $5 million to provide stability and limit budget reductions, ensuring that no school will see core funding decline by more than 10 percent from last year. Importantly, no schools will face budget reductions if their fall 2022 enrollment drops below the prior school year. Conversely, schools will receive additional funding if their enrollment increases from the 2021-22 school year.

REDUCING CLASS SIZES AND FEWER SPLIT GRADE-LEVEL CLASSES

Under these new priorities, the FY2023 budget includes $42 million in new District-level funding ($72 million total) to reduce class sizes and ensure that grade-level classroom splits (in which students from two grades are combined in one classroom) are used only when academically necessary.

Specifically, this flexible funding will support additional full-time classroom teachers, special subject teachers, and/or interventionists based on individual school needs. This additional funding will be allocated to schools based on both student enrollment and the District’s Opportunity Index, which analyzes barriers such as race, socioeconomic status, education, health, and other community factors to help offset inequities and increase student opportunities and access to strong, vibrant, and healthy school communities.

INCREASING OPPORTUNITY AND FUNDING FOR DIVERSE LEARNERS

CPS is investing $68 million more in funding to advance equity and meet the needs of diverse learners across the District. This includes $62 million more for teacher and paraprofessional positions and $6 million more for additional case manager positions, bringing the total number of case managers to 256 FTE. Additional funds will be allocated throughout the year to address changing student and school needs that require additional resources.

CPS will also increase full-day pre-k access for four-year-old diverse learners by adding blended classrooms that provide these students with the most inclusive experience possible.

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING (SEL) SUPPORTS AND ACADEMIC INTERVENTIONS

Students learn best when they feel safe, supported, and valued. There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic,  growing economic inequity, safety concerns, and many other issues have impacted the well-being and mental health of many of our students, staff, and families. CPS is committed to providing robust social-emotional learning and engagement opportunities for all students from pre-k through high school, with additional specific academic interventions, mental health services, and wraparound supports for those who are struggling.

This past school year, CPS prioritized social-emotional learning supports, including $16 million to stand up behavioral health teams (BHTs) at every school and expand access to community mental health partners.

Our FY2023 budget builds upon this work, with $30 million in District-funded investments. This adds staffing and resources needed to foster a positive school and classroom climate, trauma-engaged practices and restorative approaches to discipline, as well as other social and emotional skills instruction. Specific investments include:

  • SEL curriculum: $5 million in funding over FY2022 and FY2023 to support the implementation of a universal SEL curriculum for all elementary schools that includes bullying prevention and other lessons that promote safe decision making.
  • Social workers: $5 million in additional funding for social workers to support students’ social and emotional wellbeing on a case-by-case basis.
  • Counselor positions: $6 million to provide an additional 53 schools with a second, district-funded counselor at schools that need them most, based on the Opportunity Index and Violence Index, which help to measure the level of risk to students based on community. With this investment, the District will have invested $13 million of new funding over FY2022 and FY2023 to provide 117 schools with a second centrally-funded counselor position.
  • Mentorship and mental health supports and partnerships: $13 million for mentorship and mental health supports from highly qualified providers to provide school-level and regional services for students, including the expansion of the District’s partnership with the Center for Childhood Resilience at Lurie Children’s Hospital, DePaul University, and other partners and vendors, which provide consultation on the District’s guidance documents, professional learning model, and targeted implementation support with priority schools.
  • Support for Students in Temporary Living Situations (STLS): $2 million to fund more support staff for Students in Temporary Living Situations (STLS), including counselors and bilingual education coordinators. The additional staff  will ensure that 35 schools will have full-time advocates and all other CPS schools will have one or more part-time liaisons to work with these students and their families.
  • Student Re-Engagement Efforts: $12 million for re-engagement, home visits, and truancy prevention – including home visits and other forms of direct contact to inspire students to return to the classroom.

The FY2023 budget elevates student wellness by bringing school nurse staffing levels to an all-time high. By increasing funding for school nurses by $10 million, we can hire an additional 112 school nurses and ensure that every student in every school can access a school nurse.

MAINTAINING SAFE AND SECURE SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL COMMUNITIES

Students are better able to focus academically when they feel physically and emotionally safe, welcomed, supported, and respected by peers and adults in their learning environment. Over the years, the District has learned that it takes a combination of initiatives, programs, and supports to achieve school safety. These investments include:

  • Choose to Change: CPS will continue to invest in and expand access to the evidence-based Choose to Change initiative with $9.2 million additional funds in FY2023. Choose to Change connects CPS students who are heavily impacted by violence and trauma with intensive advocate and wraparound supports, as well as trauma-informed therapy to help them graduate high school and develop successful life plans. To date, the program has reduced by nearly half the likelihood of arrests for violent crime, reduced the likelihood of in-school misconducts by 33 percent, and increased school attendance by a full week per year on average.

  • “Back to Our Future” Initiative: With a new investment of $18 million (including a $16.2 million award from the Illinois Department of Human Services) CPS is piloting a new high touch intervention model to 1000 youth who have been disconnected from school for at least 12-18 months. CPS will partner with community-based organizations and the University of Chicago Crime and Education Lab to conduct extensive outreach and engagement efforts to engage these hardest to reach students and provide comprehensive behavioral health services, mentoring and employment opportunities, and other wrap-around supports in order to build the skills needed in order to safely reconnect with their school communities.

  • Whole School Safety Initiative: Continuing this program, and reinvesting an approximate $3.3 million towards proactive safety resources such as restorative justice coordinators, climate coordinators, and more.

  • Safe Passage program: Through our Safe Passage program, trained professionals help steer our kids away from dangerous situations and help them get to-and-from school safely. CPS will invest $22 million in the program in SY23, including $1.5 million to engage Safe Passage staffers to support CPS Summer Programs and Chicago Park District programming so students can continue to have safe access to activities while out of school.

  • School Security Resources: The FY2023 budget contains $8 million — an increase of $6 million over FY2022 — for critical school security equipment to support students’ physical safety on school grounds.

EXPANDED SCHOOL PROGRAMMING: ARTS, DUAL LANGUAGE, PRE-K, and MORE

Based on input from families, educators, and community partners, CPS is investing in the expansion of high-quality programs that will enrich the experience of students throughout the city. These include:

  • Arts Education: CPS is committed to providing a well-rounded education with increased access to the arts for all elementary school students, which we know can have a positive impact on academic outcomes and social-emotional development while driving student creativity. Our FY2023 budget adds more than 100 teacher positions in the arts, including visual arts, music, dance, theater and drama to ensure that every student has access to arts programming.

  • Dual-language: Dual-language instruction has been proven to raise academic achievement for students of all backgrounds and is a pathway to earning the State of Illinois’ Seal of Biliteracy in high school. The seal demonstrates a student’s proficiency in a second or third language and competency for college-level coursework. The FY2023 budget provides $3 million in new funding for more bilingual teachers and dual-language program coordinators, as well as the formation of bilingual advisory councils.

  • Universal pre-k: Access to high-quality preschool is one of the strongest predictors of a student’s long-term achievement, and our continued expansion of free, full-day pre-k will positively impact Chicago’s students for generations. CPS is moving closer to universal pre-k in FY2023 with an additional $10 million towards adding 26 new full day classrooms for our youngest learners. As a result, 64 of Chicago’s 77 communities will have pre-k programs, with a goal to be in every community by fall 2023. Athletics: CPS will invest an additional $7 million to support athletics across the District, including funding for full-time athletic directors at over half the District’s high schools.

  • Summer and Out-of-School-Time Programs: The budget includes $30 million in District-level funding for summer school programs, as well as $20 million for before- and after-school (Out-of-School Time) programming. Summer programming includes the Extended School Year (ESY) program for diverse learners, the Bridge program to help elementary students achieve passing grades in key subjects, and the high school credit recovery program, as well as targeted District and school-level programs for specific subjects and to support students in key transition years. In the past, principals have had to pay for some of these programs out of their school budgets. By assuming responsibility for this funding at the District level, principals can now redirect funds to other initiatives that will benefit the unique needs of their individual school communities.

  • Chicago Roadmap: An additional $8 million will continue funding the Chicago Roadmap — a comprehensive partnership between CPS and the City Colleges of Chicago to ensure a solid pathway from high school to higher education and career. These funds will support academic readiness, including expanding dual-credit and dual-enrollment opportunities for CPS students, as well as student advising and career exploration and readiness.

Additional instructional and curriculum investments for this year will include:

  • Skyline: CPS is investing an additional $27 million to support materials and professional development for the continued implementation of Skyline — the District’s comprehensive, digital, standards-aligned, and culturally-responsive curriculum that is available to every teacher at every grade level throughout our schools. This includes the additional instructional and assessment resources, as well as the development of curriculum for Spanish language arts (K-12), visual arts (pre-k through 9), music (pre-K-10), and health and physical education.
  • More resources for early literacy: Data has shown that child literacy is one of the key areas impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The District will allocate $5 million to support literacy interventions for  the youngest learners, particularly students in grades K-2, to address gaps in foundational skills, cultivate a love of reading and bring students up to grade-level reading proficiency. This funding will provide the highest-need schools with culturally and linguistically-representative classroom libraries and take-home textbook sets, as well as provide multigenerational programming for parents, grandparents and other caregivers to support literacy development in young learners.   Tutor Corps: The District will invest $25 million to hire and train tutors who will offer extra literacy support in grades k-5 and math support in grades 6-12.
  • AP expansion: At the high school-level, we will invest $2 million to expand access and support to Advanced Placement courses across all schools, specifically targeting students who have not been previously targeted for enrollment and focus on the expansion and implementation of AP Capstone programs.

INVESTING IN OUR EDUCATORS THROUGH ROBUST PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

To ensure that all CPS students benefit from high-quality instruction, the FY2023 budget invests more than $45 million in new funding to provide the District’s talented teachers with robust professional development opportunities that support and improve their instructional practice. This funding will pay for instructional coaches at 184 schools with the highest needs according to the District’s Opportunity Index, and ensures appropriate staffing so teachers can take full advantage of the additional support and development programs.

District-level investments will also fund instructional support leaders and subject-specific content leads to facilitate teacher professional development in their classrooms and school buildings.

The District has also added two additional professional learning days to the 2022-23 academic calendar, and will provide additional collaboration opportunities for teachers throughout the school year.

IMPROVING AND MODERNIZING FACILITIES THROUGH THE CAPITAL BUDGET

The FY2023 budget for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) includes a capital budget totaling $765 million of investments that will focus on priority facilities needs at neighborhood schools; mechanical systems which control the indoor environment and air quality of our schools; ADA accessibility; restroom updates; student recreation and athletic improvements; site improvements; and continued expansion of technology upgrades and other academic priorities. To support schools throughout the city, the FY2023 capital plan provides funding in six main areas: critical facility needs, interior improvements, programmatic investments, site improvements, new school construction, and IT and security upgrades.

Specific school-based investments have been prioritized based on the urgency of projects and the District’s Equity Index so that capital investments can be targeted to schools with the greatest needs.

“Our dedicated crews have already begun summer projects so that students can have improved sites when they return for learning on August 22,” said Interim Chief Operating Officer Crystal Cooper. “This budget ensures that we can continue to make the most urgent repairs and updates across our more than 600 schools and offices so that our teams can focus on preparing our students for success in college, career, and civic life.”

BUDGET and CAPITAL HEARINGS

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) staff, families, and community members are invited to attend the public hearings regarding the District’s 2023 Fiscal Year capital planning investments and the FY2023 budget before the final Chicago Board of Education (BOE) vote June 22 during the monthly meeting. The budget has been posted on the public-facing CPS Budget homepage and will go before the BOE a month earlier than prior years to support planning and hiring of new staff members for the 2022-2023 school year.

CPS will host public budget hearings at 42 W. Madison St., from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 13, and from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15. The Capital Planning Hearings are also public and will be virtual. Dates are as follows:

  • Wednesday, June 15, 2022, noon to 2 p.m.

  • Thursday, June 16, 2022, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Friday, June 17, 2022, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Chicago Teacher’s Union responded to the proposed budget saying, “The mayor is launching her re-election bid by balancing the city budget on the backs of children who need more instead of less. The voters of Chicago need to understand that this budget is unacceptable and another example of failed leadership.

Chicago Public Schools students and families have dealt with two years of trauma from the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to the trauma many of them face from gun violence, discrimination, regressive fines and fees, and neglect of their communities. They’ve had enough of “tough.” What they need is recovery, with compassionate, competent leadership that is leading that recovery — not cuts to their schools and classrooms”.

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