Chicago School Finances Under Microscope

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A two-year study of charter schools in Chicago indicates that many suffer from some of the same funding challenges as traditional public schools but that most charters are on sound financial footing.

A report to be released Tuesday by the budget watchdog Civic Federation is the first of its kind to look at the financial health of Chicago's charter schools, the quasi-independent but publicly funded schools that operate within the city's public school system.

Nine of the 28 schools surveyed showed declining or negative budget balances in the 2007 and 2008 fiscal years, and others were hampered by high payroll costs, a worrisome trend that raises questions about the schools' sustainability, said Civic Federation President Laurence Msall.

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