CPS officials disappointed over changing of district’s tier in state funding


CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools officials said they are being shortchanged state funds this year, but the Illinois Board of Education says the district is getting more revenue then it did last school year.

As Mayor Lightfoot and CPS CEO Pedro Martinez enjoyed a back to school bash Friday, Martinez told media there that the district’s funding is being cut.

“We found out that we are moving from the neediest tier to the next tier,” he said. “For me, it’s just a big disappointment when it comes down to dollars and cents.”

The new calculations released by the Illinois Board of Education give CPS $1.75 billion in state money, which is about a 1.5% increase over last school year, according to Chalkbeat Chicago.

The education outlet reports that even though the district is getting an increase, CPS was recategorized into another tier due to a loss of low-income students and an increased property tax base.

In a statement, the district said they “need all the resources they can get.”

“We understand that the state’s evidence-based funding. Tiers are set in statute, but any anticipated lower-than-expected funding from the state puts more pressure on our system at a time when our needs have never been greater. Public schools are serving a wider scope of needs than ever before as we emerge from the pandemic and we need all the resources we can get.”

Moving into the future, Martinez said students don’t be impacted.

“We are going to make sure that our students are ready because our staff are excited to receive them, but it’s something that we have to fix though,” Martinez said.

The Illinois Board of Education’s full statement is below.

No, the district is not receiving $81.29 per student in Evidence-Based Funding. It is important to note that CPS EBF funds are increasing in FY 23 when compared to FY 22 due to additional funding appropriated by the General Assembly. The district will receive more than $1.7 billion in EBF in the upcoming school year, the most it has ever received from the state. This is $27 million more than the district received in FY22.

The Evidence-Based Funding formula is working as it should, steadily moving more and more districts towards full and adequate funding, meaning more social-emotional resources in schools, smaller class sizes, better technology, and more robust supports for our educators. The formula is based in data and grounded in equity, so that the districts furthest away from adequacy receive the greatest share of any increases in state funding. Thanks to Gov. Pritzker’s FY 2023 budget and commitment to public education, every school district will receive more state funding in FY 2023, on top of what they received in FY 2022. Additionally, economic growth is reflected in the data and resulted in more local resources for some districts, including Chicago Public Schools, which means that the formula will send a greater share of the new state dollars to other districts who are further away from adequate funding.

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