Education news. In context.
Diversity & Equity
Politics & Policy
Teaching & Classroom
Student & School Performance
Leadership & Management
Charters & Choice
Find a Job
How to be a Chalkbeat source
Republish Our Stories
Code of Ethics
Our News Partners
Work with Us
Budget & finance
August 13, 2019
More administrators, more money for small schools: Here are 8 items getting more funding in Chicago schools budget
A look at eight growing investments give a glimpse of the district’s priorities and challenges in the coming year.
Budget & finance
May 17, 2019
In her first term as mayor, Lightfoot’s schools agenda to include overhaul of budgets, campus policing
Lightfoot will likely overhaul the way the district gives money to schools, and wants to take a harder look at policing in schools.
Follow the money
December 11, 2017
Rich PTA, poor PTA: New York City lawmaker wants to track school fundraising
New York City is home to some of the richest PTAs in the country, while other schools struggle to even recruit parent volunteers.
draining the pool
August 3, 2017
NYC’s plan to place teachers from its Absent Teacher Reserve pool could take a bite out of school budgets
The pool has historically been made up of teachers who are more senior than average, and therefore more expensive.
April 26, 2016
Six more Memphis schools to close; three others get one-year reprieve
The Board of Education for Shelby County Schools votes to close three more Memphis schools and revoke the charters of three others.
April 23, 2015
Hopson to propose benefits changes for some retirees of Shelby County Schools
The superintendent of Shelby County Schools says he will ask the Board of Education to end health insurance benefits for district retirees ages 65 or older to help reduce pension obligations.
May 27, 2013
Principals get their budgets for next year
Link: Principals get their budgets for next year In the webinar about next year’s school budgets that Chancellor Dennis Walcott delivered to principals on…
March 13, 2013
Lighter NYC schools penalty could help budget talks progress
Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan praised the news that New York City's state school budget penalty would be temporary. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was not satisfied with the surprising announcement that New York City's steep budget penalty would be temporary, but his education committee chair said she thinks the news could could ease budget negotiations in Albany. "To me that means we're halfway there," Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan said today during the legislature's joint hearing on the state's proposed education budget. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Assembly, and the State Senate have each proposed spending plans and they must come to a consensus before the end of the month. This year, because Passover and Easter fall at the end of March, legislators are shooting for a final budget by next week, which means they must strike a deal by the end of the weekend to meet timeline requirements.
September 18, 2012
Education is not spared in city's latest round of budget cuts
To make up for an unexpected budget shortfall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is bringing city agencies under the knife—and for the second year in a row, the Department of Education will not be spared from midyear cuts. On Friday, Bloomberg announced that the city's agencies would have to collectively cut $2 billion, and the department's share in the burden would amount to 1.6 percent of its own budget this year, and 4 percent next year. Last fall, Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the central offices would take the brunt of midyear cuts, but he skirted the issue of the city's budget shortfall, which numbered in the billions and portended more cuts for 2012. This year, the schools budget was held flat—a fact that was hailed as an improvement by city officials and councilmembers, but still felt like a cut to many educators, who saw the costs of supplies, special education services, and teacher salaries continue to rise. As we reported last year, midyear budget cuts like the ones being prepared for now are especially disruptive to schools because most expenses are fixed for the whole year. That means that only certain costs, such as after-school programs or tutoring, can go on the chopping block. And four straight years of budget cuts have already left class sizes on the rise and principals struggling to make ends meet. "If we've got to cut, we're going to be very tight, midyear, which would be a shame," one principal who asked not to be identified said this afternoon.
May 30, 2012
Walcott announces mental health funds, threatens aide layoffs
Dozens of schools will get new access to mental health services for their students under a $30 million initiative that Chancellor Dennis Walcott unveiled today. Walcott introduced the new initiative during a City Council hearing about the Department of Education's proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. Chancellor Dennis Walcott testifies at City Council's budget hearing today. The Department of Education's proposed budget is $19.7 billion, 1.5 percent higher than this year. The increase, which comes after three years of budget cuts, is allowing the city to add teachers rather than cut them this year. But Walcott cautioned that the city would still have to lay off 225 school workers who are represented by the District Council 37 union. Principals cut the workers loose last year but the department has been covering their costs, according to Walcott, who called the arrangement "unsustainable." “I don’t want to see any layoffs, I know DC 37 doesn’t want to either, and most of all, neither do the men and women affected by the prospective loss of employment,” said Walcott. “If we can work with the union to identify savings and concessions to offset these costs, layoffs are avoidable, and I’m hopeful this can be accomplished.” The department laid off around 700 school aides in October after negotiations to save their jobs failed. A DC-37 official declined to comment immediately on the threatened layoffs, saying that the union was surprised by Walcott's comments before the council.
April 11, 2012
Find your district's new budget numbers
See what the proposed 2012-13 School Finance Act would mean for your district's per-pupil funding. How does your district compare to others nearby?
March 27, 2012
Walcott: Projected $64 million cut to schools only temporary
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott repeated a promise not to touch principals' budgets next year, saying that a proposed cut in school funding that would cost the city more than 1,100 teaching positions would likely disappear once the city finalizes its budget later this spring. Of the 5,000 teachers who typically leave the system each year, the preliminary 2013 budget projects that only about 4,000 would be replaced, which would save about $64 million, according to the city's preliminary budget . But Walcott said that funding would likely be restored in time for the final budget and that principals would be able to hire for any vacated positions. City Council members pestered Walcott about that and much more at a hearing this afternoon on the agency’s $19.6 billion budget, a 1 percent increase that won't cover the added expenses the department expects. While last year’s hearings focused almost solely on opposition to a proposal to layoff thousands of teachers, the concerns raised by elected officials today spanned a range of the city's education policies, including increased class sizes, the small schools initiative, spending on technology and contracts, and Medicaid collection. But they reserved most of their early criticism on the $64 million cut in areas that directly fund schools. The decreased sum represents a headcount reduction of 1,117 teacher positions, according to the city's projections. “Year after year the DOE has made cuts to school budgets,” said Education Committee Chair Robert Jackson. “How are schools supposed to make do next year given the loss of funding proposed in the budget?”
December 23, 2011
IBO report hints that school spending could take another hit
The city's budget watchdog predicted less money making its way to classrooms next year, even as it said the city's overall economic outlook could be rosier than what Mayor Bloomberg has previously suggested. The Independent Budget Office yesterday said that rising costs for contracts, employee benefits, and charter school payments appear poised to cut into the funds that the Department of Education is free to allocate to schools. The IBO analyzed this year's budget and Mayor Bloomberg's November financial plan and determined that spending for classroom instruction and school administration could drop by $300 million in 2013, a 3.3 percent decrease. That's because funds would likely have to be redirected to other areas of the DOE where costs are soaring, according to the report: pre-kindergarten special education contracts with private schools are set to increase by 10 percent, to $100 million; fringe benefits for school employees are expected to increase 2.5 percent, to $68 million; and payments to charter schools, which are enrolling more students each year, will go up 5.6 percent to $46 million. City officials disputed the IBO's projections of next year's spending as premature. "It's impossible to say what we're spending next year because we haven't put out a budget, for schools or any other agency yet," said City Hall spokesman Marc LaVorgna. A preliminary budget for the 2013 fiscal year is expected in January or February.
August 12, 2011
Principals who appealed budgets finding out funds' fates today
Hundreds of principals who objected to their initial budget funding last month will learn today if their appeals were successful. An unusually high number…
July 13, 2011
Creative budgeting not enough to close gaps, principals say
Principals are famously told to “be creative” during school budget season. This year is no different, but with cuts to city, state, and federal funding all taking their toll, some school leaders are saying creativity isn’t enough. Some of them are pushing back, filing appeals with the Department of Education to restore hundreds of thousands of dollars back into to their schools. Joseph Nobile, a veteran principal at P.S. 304 Early Childhood School in the Bronx, said he and his budget liaison tweaked projections, shuffled funds, and excessed staff to stretch his $4.7 million as far as it could go. “After all of the moving around, we were still down $350,000,” Nobile said. So for the first time in his 12 years on the job, Nobile said he had no choice but to file an appeal. Nobile said the money he requested would go toward retaining the school’s lone curriculum coach, as well as four special education specialists. The additional personnel is especially important at P.S. 304 because it is part of a citywide pilot to move as many special education students as possible into mainstream classes. Schools are feeling the pinch more than ever because of third consecutive year of budget cuts. Adding to that, the city made it tougher for some schools with large percentages of poor students to qualify for federal aid.
In your inbox.
Chalkbeat New York
How I Teach
Rise & Shine Colorado
Rise & Shine Detroit
Rise & Shine Indiana
Rise & Shine Tennessee
The Starting Line