All CPS Employees
February 25, 2010
State of the Budget
I am writing to you about the unprecedented $700-900 million budget deficit CPS faces next year.
Closing a gap of this magnitude through budgetary cuts would result in a devastating decrease in
educational supports to our students and would undermine the gains in student achievement CPS
has seen in recent years. That is why we will be taking every action possible, including fighting in
Springfield for fair state funding, to avoid making these cuts.
I want you to know how much I recognize and appreciate the hard work and dedication that CPS
employees show every day. You – our teachers, our principals and the staff that support them – are
the front-line in our work to ensure that every student graduates from high school ready for college
or work. I do not wish to make any of the difficult choices that I outline below; however, our current
financial reality dictates that tough decisions must be made. My guiding principle throughout this
budget process will be to do everything possible to protect the critical school-based services and
educational supports that you provide to our students.
It is critically important to me that every CPS employee has accurate, up-to-date information on our
budget issues, and I pledge to provide regular status updates to you. This memo will provide the
1. Why next year’s deficit is so large;
2. What has been done so far to reduce costs;
3. CPS’ plan to address the deficit.
Why Is The Deficit So Large?
Four major factors drive CPS’ budget deficit:
• Decrease in State Funding: As you know, Illinois ranks 49th in state funding for education. The
Illinois Education Funding Advisory Board, the state organization specifically charged with
determining the appropriate level of student funding, determined this year that the correct
amount of state funding per student is $7,992. The ga