CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said Monday the budget ax will not fall again this year on schools with fewer students than school officials expected.
However, schools with more students than anticipated — based on a head count conducted last week — will get additional funds under the district's new budget system, which funds schools based on the number of students they have, Byrd-Bennett said in a statement and an email sent to school principals.
“While this is the most fair and equitable way in which to deliver these precious dollars to our schools, I believe schools should have a year to transition to this new system," Byrd-Bennett said. "We will work closely with those principals during this time of transition to ensure they are prepared to fully implement Student-Based Budgeting in School Year 2014-2015.”
Byrd-Bennett said the first year of the new system "will be one of change and adjustment for many schools."
"CPS has listened to parents, principals and teachers and wants to make sure that the transition to [student-based budgeting] this school year is as smooth as possible and not disruptive to the classroom," Byrd-Bennett said.
Schools throughout the city had been bracing for another round of budget cuts based on enrollment numbers, including Lakeview High School, where Principal Lilith Werner had begun planning to slash another $550,000 from its spending plan — bringing the total cut to the North Side high school's budget to nearly $1.5 million.
Student-based budgeting "ensures that the district’s limited core education dollars are spent equitably and transparently," Byrd-Bennett said.
Schools will receive their final enrollment numbers by the end of the school day Tuesday, Byrd-Bennett said.