Chicago Public Schools propose $9.4 billion budget, hearings begin next week


CPS honored 156 educators on June 13 who are part of the Teacher Residency Program. The program creates a bridge to teaching for professionals looking to make a career change to teaching, or move into a teaching role from classroom support. (Photo courtesy of CPS)

 Chicago Public Schools on Tuesday posted a proposed $9.4 billion fiscal year 2024 district budget covering the educational and operational mission of the district and its more than 600 schools, in advance of budget hearings next week and the Board of Education’s monthly meeting June 28.

   District leadership will receive feedback from stakeholders at budget hearings from 6-7:30 p.m. June 20 and 3-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 21 at the CPS Central Office, 42 W. Madison St. and live streaming on the board’s website,, and

     Advanced registration for public speakers is required via the website or by calling 773-553-1600 by 5 p.m. Thursday (June 15) or until 20 slots have been filled for each hearing, whichever occurs first.  Residents can also view the CPS budget at the Board of Education office, 1 N. Dearborn St.

     Capital budget hearings will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. June 20, 6-7:30 p.m. June 21 and noon to 1:30 p.m. June 23. The hearings will be virtual only and streaming live at Advance registration to speak will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday (June 13) and will close at 5 p.m. Thursday (June 15) or until 20 slots have been filled for each hearing, whichever occurs first. 

Multifaceted capital plan

     “This proposed budget is a step toward fulfilling CPS’ commitment to providing resources for every school community so that our students are healthy, safe, engaged, and on the path to long-term success,” said Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson. “This investment in our children is not only an investment in a stronger future for them and their families but is essential to living up to Chicago’s promise as a world-class city.”

     Since the district’s release of its draft fiscal year 2024 school budget in April, the budget now contains $4.8 billion in school-level funding, an increase of more than $480 million over the past two years. Increased allocations address school-specific concerns and the continued multi-year move away from student-based budgeting and toward funding that considers students’ varied needs.

     Highlights of the revised school budgets include:

  • Per-pupil spending increased by more than $1,000 in school budgets next year.
  • Ninety-two percent of schools will have a higher per-pupil funding level compared with last year — up from the 91 percent reported in April.
  • Ninety percent of schools will see increased funding over last year — up from the April projection of 82 percent and up from 70 percent last year.
  • Thirty-nine percent of funding in school budgets is allocated according to student-based budgeting — down from the 43 percent reported in April and down from 46 percent in FY2023.
  • Overall, schools will receive more than $240 million more in their budgets compared with last year — this figure is up more than $90 million from the $150 million increase reported in April.
  •      The school budgets continue to support the priorities that CPS principals and school communities have shared are critical student success, including:
  • Class sizes
  • Limited split classrooms
  • Access to arts education
  • More intervention supports, including the hiring of more nurses, counselors, social workers, academic interventionists, and advocates for students in temporary living situations.

Pedro Martinez

     “We’re grateful to be able to fund these priorities – this foundation for what all schools should and can expect to receive,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “We will continue to work to ensure every school has the resources necessary to meet students’ instructional needs as our district moves forward, from expanding services to preschoolers to increasing our graduation rate and the dollars earned in college scholarships.”

     Schools that saw cuts to their budgets this year are ones that have seen significant enrollment declines or have seen decreases in specific student populations, such as diverse learners or preschool students. Fiscal year 2024 budgets include loss mitigation strategies, including $11 million to cap local funding losses at 3 percent and a $5 million increase to equity grants.

     The remainder of the district’s annual budget is made up of the budgets for the CPS departments that support schools, academically and operationally, along with the district’s pension obligations, debt service, and capital budget. The FY24 budget maintains continued academic recovery, mental health service and best serving priority students, including diverse learners, English learners, students in temporary living situations, and students who are chronically absent or truant.

     The district’s budget features increased allocations in priority areas including:

  • $128 million in additional funding for special education teachers and paraprofessionals
  • $32 million in new funding for teaching positions with an emphasis on filling positions within the district’s highest-need schools
  • $15 million increase in funding for bilingual instruction, including $8 million in additional funding for enrollment adjustments at schools receiving newly arriving students
  • $5 million increase in Equity Grants for smaller and under-enrolled schools, for a total of $55 million
  • Expanding prekindergarten by 480 seats with programs in all Chicago communities, and increasing the level of direct outreach to parents of young learners with a $101 million investment above what is funded by state grants and an additional $3 million for early literacy support

     In addition to new investments, Chicago Public Schools is continuing school-level investments from FY2023:

  • $45 million to provide teacher professional development district-wide and fund additional instructional coaches at 184 schools
  • $15 million to provide additional district-funded counselors at 131 highest-need schools
  • $11 million to support 80 schools with significant year-over-year enrollment changes to ensure resourcing for programming
  • $8 million to support athletics administration, including full-time athletic directors at more than half of district high schools
  • $55 million for expanded summer programs and out-of-school time programs to keep students engaged outside of normal school hours
  • Continued central funding of student devices and curricular supports
  • At least $10 million in continued funding for the CPS Tutor Corps, which has provided tutoring in reading and math to more than 10,000 students
  • $13 million in new funding for school nurses, social workers, and case managers, bringing staffing levels to all-time highs in each of the categories
  • Continued funding for students in temporary living situations, including 50 advocates for students at 45 schools with high STLS enrollment.
  • Continued funding to support the Community Schools model, investing $27 million, including $16 million of CPS resources, for programming at 118 schools.

     “The budget sustains and enhances the critical investments that have guided our students’ recovery, promising to help build on progress made over the past school year and strengthen classroom teaching and learning as we move forward,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Bogdana Chkoumbova. “Our students need and deserve these continued investments.”

Investing in learning environments

     The district will continue its more than $60 million investment toward programs and resources for students’ physical safety while also addressing their mental health and emotional well-being.

     These include:

  • Comprehensive Whole School Safety Plan: Introduced early in the 2022–23 school year, the plan outlines continued $3.7 million in investments in proactive safety resources like school safety equipment, as well as efforts to build out the mental health support system and expand resources for students and staff through curriculum, professional development, targeted interventions, and partnerships.
  • Choose to Change: An evidence-based mentoring program designed to keep young people who are heavily impacted by violence and trauma on track to graduate from high school and out of the criminal justice system. The district will invest $13 million in the program this year.
  • Back to Our Future: A high-touch intervention model designed to support youth who have been disconnected from school for at least 12–18 months, providing them with behavioral health services, mentoring and employment opportunities, and other wrap-around supports designed to help them safely reconnect with their school communities through an $8 million allocation.
  • Safe Passage Program: The district will invest $22 million to provide students with support as they walk to and from school each day.
  • Connecting: Additionally, the district is also allocating $15 million on re-engagement, home visits and truancy prevention programs for enrolled students.

College and career success

     CPS has made gains in college and career readiness over the past couple decades with a 2022 District Wide graduation rate of 82.9 percent and freshman-on-track rate of 88.8 percent.

     The Class of 2023 has earned the highest figure in scholarships with more than $2 billion earned to date while also earning more college credit than prior classes, as well as breaking records for the number of earned International Baccalaureate diplomas and the state’s Seal of Biliteracy. 

     In the coming year, the district will maintain funding to provide students with exposure to various career pathways, through enhanced career and technical education programming and employment/apprenticeship opportunities. In addition, the district will support students with their college readiness efforts through dual credit, dual enrollment, and other early college programs.

     The fiscal year 2024 investments are aligned to the Recommitments of Academic Progress, Operational Excellence, and Building Trust outlined in the CPS Three-Year Blueprint that was introduced by the district in early 2023. As the bridge to the district’s next strategic plan, the blueprint provides guiding principles for students to recover ground that was lost during the pandemic, while putting forward a plan to imagine how the district can better meet the needs of Chicago and its children for years to come.

     The FY2024 budget reflects input from principals, network chiefs, Local School Councils, the Principal Advisory Council, and other district partners. The budget also continues to advance recommendations made by the 2020 School Funding Working Group, which included an array of stakeholders.

     District leadership will receive feedback from stakeholders at budget hearings from 6-7:30 p.m. June 20 and 3-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 21 at the CPS Central Office, 42 W. Madison St. and live streaming on the board’s website,, and

     Advanced registration for public speakers is required via the website or by calling 773-553-1600 by 5 p.m. Thursday (June 15) or until 20 slots have been filled for each hearing, whichever occurs first.

     Residents can also view the CPS budget at the Board of Education office, 1 N. Dearborn St.

Multifaceted capital plan

     The CPS fiscal year 2024 capital budget will follow a different trajectory than in previous years.

     To ensure that all schools are ready to receive students on day one of the new school year, CPS will seek to pass a scaled-down $155 million capital plan this month to address immediate facility needs, including emergency repairs. The FY2024 capital plan provides funding in five main areas: critical facility needs, interior improvements, programmatic investments, site improvements, and IT upgrades.

       The district will soon launch a comprehensive review of all facility needs that will include stakeholder engagement to develop an Educational Facilities Master Plan. A supplemental FY2024 capital plan with funding identified for priority projects will be released later in the 2023-24 school year once this process is complete.