July 23, 2014
The Civic Federation does not support Chicago Public Schools proposed $6.8 billion budget for FY2015. The short-sighted budget does nothing to address the District’s grave fiscal crisis and is balanced only by an accounting maneuver that allows the District to book more than 12 months of revenue into a single fiscal year. This one-time and non-recurring revenue will leave a gap in future budgets, contributing to deficits of over $1.0 billion in FY2016 and FY2017.
CPS blames the State of Illinois for its budgetary crisis, citing lack of reforms for its pension fund and inadequate state funding. While there is no doubt that the State has played a significant role in creating this fiscal crisis, the District bears ultimate responsibility because it has a duty to plan for the long-term impacts of the budget decisions it makes annually.
The full report includes several recommendations, including urging the district to consider consolidation of its Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund with the State Teachers’ Retirement System. The report also examines key events and factors that have led to the District’s current financial crisis.
The Chicago Public Schools fiscal year begins July 1, 2014 and ends June 30, 2015.