May 30, 2024 - News

New CPS budget to redistribute funds to neediest schools

Photo of a sign outside a playground

North Side School playground. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Next year's Chicago Public Schools budget proposes staff cuts in 150 schools while adding employees to other, mostly small, high-poverty schools.

Why it matters: The plan, released this week, reflects Mayor Brandon Johnson's signature promise to create more equity among district schools.

The big picture: Despite CPS' predicted $400 million deficit next year, the budget largely maintains previous spending levels through cuts at the central office level.

Yes, but: That money will be distributed under a new formula.

  • While each school gets a base level of staffing, additional money will be determined by student needs rather than just enrollment numbers, officials say.

The intrigue: Though many of the schools losing staffing are located in middle-income areas, Crane High School on the Near West Side, with 90% low-income students and an enrollment of 291, is slated to see the biggest cuts of about 14 staffers next year, according to a Chalkbeat analysis.

Biggest winner: Austin's Douglass High School, with 28 students at 100% low-income, will gain 9 staffers under the budget, according to Chalkbeat.

Plus: Special education classroom assistant headcount is slated to rise by 200 to 6,179 this fall, while the number of special education teachers will decrease, a WBEZ-Sun-Times analysis found.

What's next: The school board will consider the budget for approval next month.

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