The 2011 CPS Budget in a Nutshell

On Monday several Raise Your Hand members met with CPS Chief Financial Officer Diana Ferguson and Budget Director Christina Herzog to learn about CPS' proposed Fiscal Year 2011 budget. Drew Beres (Ron Huberman's Assistant) was also in the meeting.

Attached is a copy of the presentation they gave us (excellent overview and suggested reading), and the full CPS budget book can be downloaded at

There were no real revelations in the meeting, and I was impressed by the thoughtfulness that appears to have gone into the budget preparation. However, while their presentation claims that most of the cuts have been at the central office/citywide level, the reality is that the bulk ofthe cuts are occurring at the school level.

We have all been advocating for more money for schools, especially from the State, and that helped to reduce the hit to CPS. In the end, despite our efforts, CPS faces a deficit of $370 million compared to last year. This is attributable to $70 million reduced revenues from the State, $169 million in increased contractual costs and $133 million in increased operating costs (other than union contracts).

In order to balance the budget, CPS is making a series of cuts and is also completely drawing down its Reserve Fund. School based cuts total for $104 million and Central Office/Citywide cuts account for another $66 million. The reserve drawdown is contributing $190 and another $10 million is coming from deferring capital projects.

Specific school-based cuts:

  • $30 million by increasing HS class size.
  • $24 million by reducing availability of bilingual programs. (Note: the State has reduced its funding for this, and CPS is complying with the mandate for offering programming)
  • $19 million by eliminating some teacher positions that are not supported by enrollment number, i.e. discretionary positions awarded to schools in the past.
  • $16 million by eliminating some supplemental positions at magnet schools.
  • $15 million by reducing payments to charter schools.

In addition, some of the cuts identified as Central Office or Citywide are really at the school level, such as enrichment programming, transportation, and pay freezes and furlough days for Principals and APs.

At this point, the school based budgets are fixed, and all of the schools have had their budgets loaded. Despite the layoff announcements in the news this week, these had been built into the budget already, and there were no surprises to the schools this week.

CPS is required by law to hold public hearings on the budget, and those will be occurring next week. Despite our suggestions about how to better publicizing the hearings, CPS is declining to do so beyond a classified ad notice in the newspaper (also required by law). Please consider going to one of the hearing and sharing your views. See below for details.

While we necessarily need to focus on the FY 2011 budget right now, the bottom line is that we face an ongoing funding crisis that is likely to deepen over time. Both CPS and the State of Illinois face structural budget deficits, and the State of Illinois ranks 49th out of 50 states in the percent of education funding provided by the state.

FY 2011 Public Budget Hearings

The objective of the hearings is to present the proposed budget to the general public and provide an opportunity for public testimony (verbally or in written form) from principals, school staff, local school council members, parents and interested community residents. Registration  begins at 6 p.m. and the hearings will begin at 7 p.m. at the following locations:

August 17, 2010 
Lane Tech High School 
2501 W. Addison Street  

August 18, 2010 
Westinghouse High School 
3223 W. Franklin Blvd  

August 19, 2010 
Corliss High School 
821 E. 103rd Street

Attachment Size
Office presentation icon FY11 Budget Update Press Briefing 080610.ppt 4.74 MB
PDF icon FY11 Budget Update Press Briefing 080610.pdf 1.88 MB