Home Career Chicago Public Schools will pay the state $87.5 million for education

Chicago Public Schools will pay the state $87.5 million for education


Chicago Public Schools is returning nearly $90 million in education dollars that will be redistributed to more than 750 school districts across Illinois after a coding error by the State Board of Education.

The Chicago School Board on Wednesday approved a plan to pay out about $11 million annually for the next eight years. The agreement was signed months after the Illinois State Board of Education announced the discovery of an error this resulted in him overpaying CPS $87.5 million as of 2019.

The state is working to increase funding for schools with the greatest need under a law that took effect in 2018. The evidence-based funding model uses a complex calculation to determine the amount of money a district needs to provide adequate education. The state aims to bring each district to 100% “adequacy” by 2027.

According to the state’s formula, Chicago is currently 68% adequately funded.

“There’s a profoundly unfair irony that they’re admitting they’re not fully funding us, and then they’re taking the money they gave us,” said Chicago School Board member Elizabeth Todd-Breland.

Todd-Breland said the agreement to compensate the state for their mistake would add burden to the funding programs, especially since the city tapped the district to help pay for the payment of pensions. Since 2020, the county has paid millions in underfunded pensions in Chicago. Previously, these costs were covered by the city.​​

“We’re trying to do a good job here for the kids,” she said. “We need the money to do that and meet the needs that we know are getting bigger and bigger for our youth.”

According to A presentation posted on the state board’s website, the contractor overstated the number of students attending state-authorized charter schools in Chicago from 2019 to 2022.

Chicago Public Schools was overpaid by $6.7 million in 2019, $17.9 million in 2020 and 2021, and $44.9 million in 2022. according to the report of the State Department.

Funds returned by Chicago Public Schools will be distributed to more than 750 districts. The largest sums are between 2 and 5 million dollars – will go to Elgin U-46, Rockford District 205, Plainfield District 202, Community Unit School District 300 in Algonquin and Waukegan District 60.

After that error, ISBE reverted to calculating enrollment internally and independently verifying future average enrollment reports, Chief Financial Officer Robert Wolfe said during an April webinar.

Miguel Del Valle, president of the Chicago Board of Education, praised the district attorney for agreeing to a payment plan that “doesn’t come to us right away.”

“We were able to agree on a plan that still hurts,” Del Valle said, “but it would have hurt even more if we just gave in to them in terms of demanding the mistake they made.”

Chicago Public Schools will pay off in fiscal years 2023 and 2030.

Mauricio Peña is a reporter for Chalkbeat Chicago covering K-12 schools. Contact Mauricio at mpena@chalkbeat.org.

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