July 12, 2012 – The Board of Trustees of the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) voted today to pass a balanced FY2013 budget totaling $659.6 million, nearly flat from last year, making significant investments in academic programs and college infrastructure with no increase in taxes or tuition.
“City Colleges’ success in preparing Chicagoans for careers and further education is key to our city’s economic future,” said Board Chair Paula Wolff. “This budget reflects the ambitious way in which Chancellor Hyman and her team have embraced Mayor Emanuel’s call for reinvention and are working systematically and strategically to improve student outcomes and establish a more effective and accountable institution.”
The FY2013 budget is the culmination of a six month, zero-based budgeting process that required all funding requests to be aligned with City Colleges’ strategic goals, including the College to Careers initiative and efforts to boost retention and graduation rates. Other priorities include: expanding the partnership with Chicago Public Schools, increasing enrollment, accelerating student progress to college-level courses, and making significant capital improvements across all colleges. The capital investments are part of a five-year $524 million capital plan announced earlier this year that includes a new campus for Malcolm X College to augment its healthcare industry programs and a new Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Center at Olive-Harvey College.
“This is a budget that makes education work for Chicagoans,” said Chancellor Cheryl Hyman. “We must improve graduation rates while making curricula more relevant to Chicago’s 21st-century economy and modernizing our facilities. The budget will help us reach those goals while remaining a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars.”
Additional highlights of the FY 2013 budget include:
- $144 million in capital investments to improve the teaching and learning environment across all colleges as part of a $524 million capital plan that includes a new campus for Malcolm X College and a new Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Center at Olive-Harvey College.
- A new recruitment department with staff at all seven college campuses and the district office.
- Introduction of technology that will greatly improve both student outcomes and operational efficiencies, including software to track CCC’s progress across key performance indicators, an early alert system and a new labor management system.
- Increasing capacity to quadruple Chicago Public School student enrollment in the dual credit program, which enables high school students to take college-level courses.
- Reorganizing our Adult Education sites to better align with communities in greatest need of GED, ESL and adult basic education services and boost enrollment in this area.
- Reducing our environmental footprint and saving taxpayer resources by introducing key sustainability initiatives.
- Launch of a shuttle bus service to transport students, faculty and staff among campuses, connecting to CTA services wherever possible.
The Civic Federation, an independent non-partisan government research organization, commended City Colleges' budget, noting in its analysis that the Civic Federation "strongly supports the City Colleges’ reorganization and its progress to date. It [Reinvention] is a model that we encourage other governments to emulate."
Over the last two fiscal years, City Colleges’ graduation rate rose to 10 percent from 7 percent, its highest rate in more than a decade. The system also achieved $41 million in savings by cutting management budgets, eliminating redundancies, and reducing benefits liabilities; enabling CCC to redirect resources to the classroom. CCC has hired 120 tutors in core subjects, bringing the total to 200. It also cut its average student-to-adviser ratio in half since 2010, so more students are receiving guidance to complete certificate and degree programs.
Three weeks before the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) Board of Trustees considered the proposed budget at their July meeting, the public had a chance to review the budget posted online, and had the opportunity to ask questions about the budget online, via telephone conference call, or in person at Kennedy-King College on June 28, as part of CCC’s first-ever online interactive event.
A PDF of the complete FY13 budget is available on CCC’s website at http://www.ccc.edu/departments/Pages/Budget-and-Planning.aspx