Seven Austin schools would see a decline and six schools would see an increase in their 2022-2023 budget the Chicago Board of Education is expected to approve on Wednesday.
Six elementary schools and one high school in Austin would see a drop in funding, while one high school and five elementary schools would see their budgets increase. One high school and two elementary schools would see no substantial changes in their budgets.
The schools that would see a drop in funding are: Austin College and Career Academy High School, Oscar DePriest Elementary School, George Leland Elementary School, Ella Flagg Young Elementary School, Brunson Math & Science Specialty School, Leslie Lewis Elementary School and John Hay Community Academy.
The schools that would see their funding go up are: George Rogers Clark Elementary School, Frederick A. Douglass Academy High School, Edward K Ellington Elementary School, Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School, KIPP Academy Chicago Campus and Plato Learning Academy.
An analysis of the budget announced by CPS shows the average decline in Austin schools would be $243,259, while the average increase in Austin schools would be $87,159. CPS officials say schools that will see a drop in funding are expected to have fewer students enrolled.
When CPS released its $4 billion school-level proposed budget in March, officials said it included funding to support lower-enrollment schools and “schools with the greatest needs,” but the district faced strong backlash from parent groups and the Chicago Teachers Union.
Some parents expressed their opposition to budget cuts that would affect 40% of CPS schools and urged CPS use its federal COVID-19 funds, which have remained largely unspent, according to Chicago Public Radio/WBEZ. The coalition of parents from Raise Your Hand urged CPS to “stop the budget cuts,” and the CTU said in a press release the school district “is hoarding” $1.4 billion in unallocated federal COVID relief funds.
Earlier this month, CPS unveiled the total budget with revised school-by-school numbers and the capital budget for the 2022-2023 school year, totaling $9.5 billion.
CPS officials say nearly half of the budget – $4.6 billion – will go directly to the district’s more than 600 schools, and that includes a $240 million increase from this year’s school-by-school budgets. District officials also said nearly 45% of the COVID-19 relief funds have been used and will continue to be used in the upcoming school year.
CPS, the third-largest school district in the country, is about 84% Black and Latinx students. Out of the 330,411 students enrolled this school year, 69.8% were eligible to receive a free or reduced-cost lunch, according to CPS data.
When analyzing the proposed budget, one education expert said, “There is no way that the budget cuts proposed by CPS will not adversely impact these students, who primarily come from low-income communities.”
“These young folk deserve the same allocation and resources and access to a high-quality education as their white, well-heeled counterparts from across the state of Illinois,” said Horace Hall, associate professor of education policy studies at DePaul University.
The budget includes CPS’ plans to spend the remaining 55% of the federal COVID-19 relief funds over the next three school years, with $730 million in 2023, $607 million in 2024, and $200 million in 2025.
Next year, $404 million of the $730 million COVID-19 funding will be used to support school-level funding and other local needs, such as equity grants for small, under-enrolled schools. Another $230 million will be used for academic recovery, social and emotional learning, and other student support programs.
The board of education will vote on the budget at this month’s regular meeting, which starts at 10:30 a.m. June 22. To view the live stream of the meeting, visit cpsboe.org.
Thirty slots are available for parents and the general public to speak at the meeting. Registration opened on June 17 and can be completed by calling the board office at (773) 553-1600 or by visiting its website.
Here are the operating budgets for Austin’s 16 schools:
|School Name||Number of Students (2021-2022)||FY2022 Total||FY2023 Total||Difference |
(FY2023 vs. FY2022)
|% of Change|
|Austin College and Carreer Academy High School||159||$4,334,390||$4,103,904||$230,486||5% decrease|
|George Rogers Clark Elementary School||178||$3,206,454||$3,298,872||$92,418||3% increase|
|Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School||523||$8,400,467||$8,405,174||$4,704||0% difference|
|Oscar DePriest Elementary School||464||$7,887,493||$7,570,992||$316,501||4% decrease|
|Frederick A. Douglass Academy High School||44||$2,713,129||$2,874,982||$161,853||6% increase|
|Edward K Ellington Elementary School||409||$6,649,065||$6,797,770||$148,705||2% increase|
|Julia Ward Howe Elementary School||389||$5,239,603||$5,230,285||$9,308||0% difference|
|George Leland Elementary School||366||$6,109,429||$6,024,421||$85,008||1% decrease|
|Spencer Technology Academy||433||$6,181,414||$6,209,524||$28,110||0% difference|
|Ella Flagg Young Elementary School||512||$7,382,796||$6,857,402||$525,394||7% decrease|
|Brunson Math & Science Specialty School||417||$5,945,981||$5,767,427||$178,554||3% decrease|
|Leslie Lewis Elementary School||401||$5,430,125||$5,080,374||$349,751||6% decrease|
|John Hay Community Academy||268||$4,553,692||$4,302,634||$251,058||6% decrease|
|Catalyst Elementary Charter School – Circle Rock||$7,708,541||$7,926,835||$218,294||3% increase|
|KIPP Academy Chicago Campus||$8,410,113||$8,818,329||$408,216||5% increase|
|Plato Learning Academy||$3,284,101||$3,349,906||$65,805||2% increase|