City officials on Friday announced a proposed budget for Chicago Public Schools, including an investment of nearly $1 billion for school modernization and funding for the first step of universal pre-k, officials said.
The district proposed a $7.5 billion budget, largely focused on operational costs. But the budget includes almost $1 billion in investments to new schools, new annexes and maintenance to existing schools. The number is the largest single-year capital investment in more than two decades, according to the city.
The mayor’s office said the budget would provide 3,700 more children with access to full day pre-k and 5,000 more students would have access to IB, STEM, Classical and Magnet programs.
The mayor said the 3,700 spots for pre-k would first go to children and families most in need. The priority will be on families with a household income of 45,000 a year or less.
“When we add a full day pre-k to all children, our kids are going to get 3.5 years of more classroom time,” Emanuel said during an announcement in May.
The facilities picked to run the pre-k programs were not immediately released.
In addition, the district noted that $4 million was set aside for new security equipment, including 1,000 new cameras, intercom phones, alarms and screening equipment for 50 schools.
Public hearings have been scheduled for feedback on the budget. The final budget is expected to go to a vote at the end of the month.