CPS budget approved by Board of Education - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

CPS budget approved by Board of Education

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago Public Schools’ proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2015 was voted on and passed Wednesday without opposition by the Chicago Board of Education, according to a release from CPS.

The budget will protect important investments throughout the district, as well as give students high-quality educational resources they deserve, the release said.

“The budget passed today provides our students with tools, resources and facilities that will promote success in the classroom and beyond,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett in a statement.

“While we have allocated funding to support key priority areas and crucial needs, this budget reflects the reality of our serious fiscal challenges. We will always strive to direct as much funding as possible to classrooms, but without action from Springfield to bolster state funding and act on comprehensive pension reform, the district will have to make even more difficult decisions in the future,” she added.

To make sure 100 percent of CPS students will head to college, the budget includes support to add 15 additional high schools to the dual credit dual enrollment program. The program allows students to receive credit toward a college degree.

However, officials say the proposal is a "stop-gap budget" that doesn't solve the school district's long-term financial problems.

The Civic Federation, a watchdog group, criticized the $5.8 billion budget Wednesday as "gimmick-based" for using a one-time accounting fix to balance the year's budget.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett admitted the budget is not sustainable beyond next year, adding new revenue and help from the state is the only way to end its financial problems. She said pension reform is particularly needed.

CPS officials say the budget transfers $72 million from traditional schools to charter schools. In addition, some neighborhood schools are getting fewer dollars because of declines in enrollment. District officials say the budget also cuts spending at the central office.

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