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Rogers Park CPS Schools Get Nearly $1.6M Cut; UNO Charter Sees $1.5M Boost

By Linze Rice | July 13, 2015 5:28pm
 Kilmer Elementary School in Rogers Park saw a $341,931 budget cut from last year's spending.
Kilmer Elementary School in Rogers Park saw a $341,931 budget cut from last year's spending.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

ROGERS PARK — Of the 416 schools in Chicago to see cuts amid a $106 million state budget crisis, four Rogers Park schools will lose $1,597,177 in funding for the coming school year, according to data from Chicago Public Schools. 

Gale, Kilmer and Jordan elementary schools, along with Sullivan High School, will see significant cuts — with at least $559,841 of that money due to a decrease in enrollment as per the district's student-based budgeting system. 

Ted Cox breaks down CPS' cuts and how the CTU is responding:

Conversely, UNO Rogers Park, a charter school that opened in the fall of 2012 in the former St. Scholastica's Academy, saw a $1,515,899 spending increase — at least $724,491 from an expected 151-student enrollment boost.  

A breakdown of cuts are as follows: 

  • Gale Elementary School: The only OS4 Network school in Rogers Park, Gale is expected to see an overall $362,071 decrease, or 15.2 percent of its budget. A 40-student slump in enrollment will wipe out $192,423 in funding. Last year, Gale experienced a $448,000 slash. 
  • Kilmer Elementary School: Kilmer, a Network 2 school, saw a $341,931 total cut to its pockets, a 7.5 percent decrease. 
  • Jordan Elementary Community School: Jordan, expecting a 29-pupil drop, will see a $248,068 cut from its budget, with at least $135,660 as a direct result of the student body shrink. In total, the school will suffer a 7.17 percent decrease in its funding from last year.  
  • Sullivan High School: Hit the hardest in Rogers Park was Sullivan, losing $645,107 in spending for the 2016 fiscal year. With 40 less students expected than last year, the high school will take a 14.31 percent slash.

New Field Elementary School was the one Rogers Park CPS school to receive an increase in funding, $21,374 to be exact, despite expecting a 10 student decrease. 

“No one would argue that these are the budgets that we would like to be presenting, but they reflect the reality of where we are today; a budget deficit of more than $1 billion; the demands of a broken pension system; and a state education funding that is near last in the country,” said Interim CPS CEO Jesse Ruiz. “We have tried to limit the impact on our classrooms, but we sympathize with teachers, parents and principals whose schools will be seeing fewer resources than last year.”

Since 2010, Illinois has taken a 13 percent cut from the state's budget, according to CPS. 

Chicago Public Schools announced Monday that neighborhood schools will see almost $60 million in cuts districtwide, while charter schools and other charter programs for at-risk students would see a combined $30 million in gains.

In a media conference call on student-based budgeting Monday, CPS Chief Financial Officer Ginger Ostro said 238 schools would see increased funding, at a total of $68.5 million, while 416 see budgets cut, at a total of $99.5 million.

"Money follows the students," Ostro said, adding that projected CPS enrollment for the coming school year is 372,275, down about 1 percent from last year.

According to the district, so-called neighborhood schools are expected to enroll about 4,000 fewer students in the fall, while charters increase enrollment by about 3,000 students.

Basic student-based budgeting would remain level at $4,390 a student for grades 4-8, with $4,697 for students in kindergarten through third grade and $5,444 a pupil in high schools.

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