The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) 2020 budget addresses needed capital improvements to more than 300 schools across the City of Chicago.
Among local schools slated to receive renovations funding are Nathanael Greene, 3525 S. Honore St; Holden, 1104 W. 31st St.; Washington Irving, 749 S. Oakley Blvd.; and National Teachers Academy, 55 W. Cermak Rd.
CPS is allocating $263 million for maintenance projects and interior improvements in schools around the city, including roof, envelope, and mechanical repairs.
Also, all 4-year-old CPS students will receive free full-day pre-K by 2021 through a $120 million investment in pre-K facilities. Improvements include $20 million for classroom conversions in 106 schools and $100 million for classroom expansions to provide additional student space by fall 2020. CPS also will create 100 more pre-K classrooms in 28 underserved communities to assist another 2,800 students.
CPS analysis shows that, by third grade, students who attended pre-K programs had higher GPAs and better attendance records and scored higher on standardized tests than their peers with no pre-K education.
The $7.7 billion budget exceeds 2019’s budget by $117 million. It funds 325 active CPS projects to increase access to education within safe environments.
The budget targets five key areas: critical facility needs, interior improvements, educational programs, site improvements, and information technology and security upgrades.
“This budget, which invests in hundreds of neighborhood schools throughout the city, is grounded in the belief that every student in every school deserves access to high quality academic programs and learning facilities,” said CEO Janice K. Jackson.
Additional budget highlights include the CPS’s largest expansion of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), IB (international baccalaureate), and fine and performing arts programs; $10.5 million for Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility; $10 million for nurse, social worker, and case manager positions and for recruitment and pipeline development; and $12 million to support English learners at more than 100 schools.
“By putting equity first, we are ensuring every young person knows they matter, knows we care, and knows they can reach their full given potential, inspiring students of all ages to continue to set new academic records and create a city that is truly a beacon of hope and opportunity for all,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
Within five years, CPS will add positions for at least 250 nurses and 200 more social workers as well as access to more case managers.
To learn more about the 2020 budget, visit https://cps.edu/FY20Budget/Pages/FY20Budget.aspx, or call (773) 553-1000.
—Lisa R. Jenkins