New Chicago Public Schools Funding Formula Drops 30-Pupil Standard

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The proposal announced on Monday comes as the district moves ahead with a school-closing plan that uses a "recommended" class size of 30 to determine if a school is underutilized, even though state records indicate most classes are far smaller than that.

Currently, most schools are funded based on the number of staff positions deemed necessary for each school. The new plan would allocate a specific amount of money for each student, and is intended to give principals more autonomy over their school's budget and staffing.

"We want our principals to begin to think very carefully about resource allocation as it's tied to their overall academic plan," said schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

The new formula is skewed a bit in an effort to provide more money for early education and high school. To accomplish that, the plan would provide slightly higher per-pupil fundingfor students in kindergarten through third grade, and for high schoolers.

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