Federal Subsidies to Chicago Schools: $4 Billion in 4 Years; $10,540 Per Student

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 11, 2012 | 10:44am EDT

(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Taxpayers in places as divergent as Florida and Montana, Nevada and New Hampshire, Arizona and Maine--as well as their children who will eventually need to pay the interest on the federal government's growing debt--may not think they have a stake in the Chicago teachers strike, but in fact the budgets of the Chicago Public Schools show that American taxpayers everywhere have literally billions at stake in what goes on in this one city's public school system.

Over the past four years, the Chicago public schools have churned through total revenues of approximately $20.27 billion and about $4.26 billion of that revenue—or almost 21 percent of it—has come from the federal government.

That is $4.26 billion the federal government has either taken from Americans in federal taxes or has borrowed and added to the national debt.

In fiscal 2009, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Department of Education spent $53.389 billion. In 2010, that climbed to $92.858 billion, then in 2011, it dropped to $65.484 billion. This year, according to OMB, Department of Education spending will hit an historical high of $98.467 billion.

In fiscal 1989, the last year that President Reagan was in office, the U.S. Education Department spent $21.468 billion, according to OMB. Even adjusted for inflation, that would only be $39.664 billion this year. That means, that since 1989 the Department of Education spending has grown by almost 150 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars (from $39.664 in 2012 dollars to $98.467 in 2012 dollars).

According to the budgets published by the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago schools received $1.1228 billion in federal money in fiscal 2009, $1.1604 billion in fiscal 2010, $1.1449 billion in fiscal 2011, and $827.5 million in fiscal 2012.That equals $4.2556 billion over four years.

Given that the Chicago Public Schools had a total enrollment of 403,770 students in 2011, according to the Illinois State Board of Education, that means that over the past four yeas the federal government has provided the Chicago Public Schools with about $10,540 in subsidies for each of its students.

In fiscal 2013, the Chicago Public Schools are budgeted to receive another $937.7 million in revenue from the federal government. At an enrollment of 403,770, that would equal another $2,322 per student in federal subsidies.

In fiscal 2009, the Chicago Public Schools received a combined total of $4.5797 billion in revenue from local, state and federal sources. In fiscal 2010, it was $4.7760 billion. In fiscal 2011, it was $5660.1 billion, and in fiscal 2012 it was $5.2510 billion.

In fiscal 2013, the Chicago Public Schools are budgeting for $5.3294 billion in total revenue, including $2.5404 billion from local sources, $1.8514 billion from state sources, and $937.7 million from the federal government.

According to the Illinois District Report Card for the Chicago Public Schools published by the State of Illinois, the average salary for a school teacher in the Chicago Public Schools in 2011 was $71,236. In 2010, according to the Census Bureau, the median household income in the United States was $49,445 and for lllinois it was $50,761.

Based on National Assessment of Educational Progress tests administered to students nationwide in 2011, the U.S. Department of Education determined that 79 percent of 8th graders in the Chicago Public Schools were not grade-level proficient in reading and 80 percent were not grade level proficient in math.

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