December 17, 2019

The Chicago Public Education Fund releases report on equity in Chicago’s school funding system

CHICAGO — Today, The Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund) released a report that explores Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) funding system and identifies opportunities to improve it. Equity and School Funding in Chicago Public Schools aims to serve as a fact base as our city engages in discussions around on how to equitably fund its schools.

Specifically, the report is intended to provide context for CPS’ recently convened School Funding Working Group, which will propose a set of recommendations rooted in equity and stability to strengthen school budgeting in the coming years.

The Working Group faces serious adequacy challenges as it makes recommendations. In 2017, the state of Illinois passed a new school funding formula designed to distribute resources based on districts’ demonstrated need. The formula revealed a startling fact: CPS has only 66% of the funding it needs to adequately serve the more than 355,000 students in its schools every day. In order to provide students with access to the high-quality teaching staff and materials critical to their academic success, the district would need an additional $2 billion annually.

“Our intention with this report is to inform and to create tools for dialogue,” said Fund CEO Heather Y. Anichini. “There isn’t an accepted fact base around the issue of budget and equity. Our hope is that, with the aid of this report, the Working Group will have what they need to take on hard questions and arrive at an answer that, while not perfect, is better for our students and our city.”

This report is the first in a series created by The Fund to guide the public discourse on equity and school funding. It will be followed by an informational video on the district’s budget as well as a collection of case studies that highlight principals with strong budgeting practices.

“We have the opportunity to further improve our school funding model in an effort to ensure greater equity for our students,” said CPS Budget Director Heather Wendell. “To that end, we are looking to our stakeholders and community partners to provide input on this work, and we appreciate The Fund’s engagement in this important discussion.”

Read the full report here.

About The Chicago Public Education Fund
The Fund is a nonprofit organization that improves public schools in Chicago by investing in the talented educators who lead them. We are a catalyst for accelerating student learning and a long-standing leader in identifying and scaling what works for not only teachers and principals, but also their students. To learn more about the principals we serve and the work we do, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.