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CPS principals get school budgets for next year

Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson. | Sun-Times file photo

Chicago Public Schools released budgets for individual buildings Monday, the earliest in a long time and a sign of the district’s “improved financial ground,” officials said.

Per-student spending is up 2.5 percent across the district next year, but that money will pay for teacher salary increases. Overall, school budgets are set to increase by $55 million from this school year, officials said.

“By giving our principals the time that they need and deserve, we’re helping them set their schools up for success, hire the best staff and inform families about who will be teaching their children next year,” CPS CEO Janice Jackson told reporters.

Two years ago, during the state budget stalemate, principals received their budgets in the middle of the summer, Jackson said.

Among other things, the district plans to use the additional money to continue expanding free pre-kindergarten education in the district, officials said. Science, technology, engineering and math will also get a boost, with STEM access being offered to an additional 6,100 students at 11 schools, officials said.

CPS is expected to release its full operating budget in the next few months, officials said. That’s when the district will outline its funding priorities for the 2019-20 school year.