Solutions for Increasing CPS Per Pupil Funding Rate

Raise Your Hand maintains that current per pupil funding levels are inadequate to provide a high-quality, well-rounded school day in an equitable manner across the city of Chicago. We are providing suggestions for the Board of Education to help put dollars back into the classroom where they are most needed. These suggestions combine a mix of cuts to Central Office and citywide offices and revenue suggestions for the local and state level.  View the Memo

Independent Reviews Indicate Increased Administrative Spending

A recent Crain’s article points out that Chicago spends more than any other large urban district on general administrative costs.

Despite claims of cuts to central office spending, a Catalyst Chicago analysis of the CPS budget shows an increase in Central Office spending from $200 million in 2010 to $233 million in 2012-2013. This despite a reduction in the CPS student population from 409,279 in 2010 to 404,151 in 2012-2013. If Central Office maintained spending at 2010 levels, there would be financial resources for nearly every school in the district to hire an additional arts or P.E. teacher.

CPS parent Jeanne Marie Olson and Apples to Apples analyzed the CPS budget last summer and found specific increases to Central Office and Citywide offices of $178 million.

We believe that CPS should provide a transparent budget so that taxpayers can clearly understand how CPS is spending their tax money. In addition, prior to any spending increases in non-classroom activities, CPS should conduct a cost-benefit analysis and inform the public how this spending will benefit students more than additional classroom resources. Cuts to the classroom should always come last.

  • Reappropriating dollars from Central Office/Citywide recent increases to the CLASSROOM:
  • Examples of how cutting central office/citywide offices could impact classroom spending:
  • $178 million =  $508 per pupil. For a school with 600 students = $309,000
  • $89 million =   $242 per pupil. For a school with 600 students = $152,400

Central Office/Citywide Areas Requiring a Cost-Benefit Analysis

1.      Innovation and Incubation: $50,406,758 budgeted for 2014 

Increase of $22.2 million from 2013 and $43 million since 2012.

●      CPS should  put a freeze on opening new schools until they can adequately resource their current schools and solve their budget deficit. In addition, enrollment has declined by 3k students since last year.

2.      Talent Office: $68,560,746 budgeted for 2014. 

Increase of $34 million from 2013.

●      CPS has reduced the number of teachers and support staff by over 2,000 employees this year. Why has the Talent Office increased 15 percent (from 187 to 218 employees) ?

●      $34 million increase equals $97 per student = $58,285 for a school of 600 students

3.      SUPES Contract.

●      Part of the budget in the Talent office includes a $20 million SUPES Academy. While Principal development should remain an important priority. RYH has received ample feedback from Principals that SUPES training is not beneficial. Further, SUPES is providing training for 220 principals The cost of this training appears disproportionate at over $90,000 per principal. At nearly $7 million a year, this funding would translate to nearly $20 per student or over 50 Chromebooks for students  per year for a school of 800 students. CPS should provide the taxpayers with an explanation of this funding.

●      $6.6million over 2 years equals  $18 per student = $11,280 for school of 600 students (or $22,560 for next two years)

4.      Family and Community Engagement (FACE): $8,861,575 budgeted for 2014.

Increase of $3 million from 2013.

●      There are 60 employees in this department. The parents of CPS students are interested in having an open constructive partnership with CPS, the emphasis on new engagement initiatives such as the Parent Leadership initiative have been unsuccessful. CPS should engage parents through existing channels including the Local School Councils, Parent Advisory Councils, Bilingual Advisory Councils, PTAs, and existing non-profit groups. Focusing attention on existing parent leaders will allow a more streamlined and efficient expenditure of precious funds.

●      IF CPS Cut $3million from this department, they would be able to add $8.50 per student equalling $5,100 for a school with 600 students.

5.      Strategy Management Office: $19,333,028 budgeted for 2014. 

Increase of $13 million from 2013.

This department was just created last year. Eighty-seven percent of the unit’s allocation is for contracts and contingencies.  Provide taxpayers an accounting of the use of these funds.

●      $13 million increase equals $37 per pupil or $22,285 for a school with 600 students

6.      Strategic School Supports (0S4): $19,183,273 budgeted for 2014.

Increase of $14 million from 2013.

Many OS4 schools were cut by hundreds of thousands of dollars this year. Some parents report that their kids have no arts courses at these schools. These schools are requiring test-prep Saturdays.Provide taxpayers an accounting of the use of these funds.

●      $14 million increase equals $40 per pupil or $24,000 for a school with 600 students.

7.      Budget and Grants Management Office: $27,318,437 budgeted for 2014.

Increase of $22 million from 2013. Provide taxpayers an accounting of the use of these funds..

●      $22 million increase equals $62 per pupil = $37,714 for a school of 600 students.

8.      Accountability: $14,474,409 budgeted for 2014.

 Provide taxpayers an accounting of the use of these funds.

●      CPS claimed to reduce standardized testing by over 50% this year yet the budget has remained stable for this department.

●      If this office were cut by 30% or roughly $5 million, would equal $14 per pupil or $8,571 for a school with 600 students

Revenue Solutions



1.    Local revenue.

●      The city should release a much larger TIF surplus and release the funds early so that it can be included in per pupil funding and allocated in accordance with the priorities each school’s LSC has defined in their own CIWP.


2.    State revenue

RYH recognizes that revenue for the state level to support education and CPS is inadequate and that the “state of Illinois contributes a smaller share to total P-12 public education funding than any other state".

●      The state legislature is poised to vote in May 2014 on whether to allow a referendum for a graduated income tax on the November ballot. We ask the Board of Education, CTU and others  to go to Springfield to join RYH to advocate in favor of a graduated income tax to assist in improving funding for education at the state level

Increases to Central Office this Year