June 28, 2012 – The City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) today announced a proposed balanced FY2013 budget totaling $659.6 million, nearly flat from last year, which makes significant investments in academic programs and college infrastructure with no increase in taxes or tuition. The public is invited to comment on the budget online via email, Facebook and Twitter or in person during an interactive budget town hall.
The proposed 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 the 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 proposed 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.
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.
Two weeks before the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) Board of Trustees considers approving the proposed budget at their July 12 meeting, the public has a chance to ask questions about the budget to CCC leaders online, via telephone conference call, or in person at Kennedy-King College from 6-8 p.m. on June 28, as part of CCC’s first-ever online interactive event.
“Mayor Emanuel has called for greater transparency throughout government because taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Paula Wolff. “That’s exactly what this public hearing is about. We hope Chicagoans stream the event online, call in, or join us in person.”
Kennedy-King College is located at 6301 S. Halsted St. Live video will stream on CCC’s Facebook account. To watch the public hearing online, visit CCC’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/citycollegeschicago or Livestream account at www.livestream.com/cccoitws. Questions can also be submitted to the City Colleges of Chicago Twitter account at twitter.com/ChiCityColleges.
All viewers, regardless of platform, will be able to submit questions to during the event. Anyone lacking an Internet connection and unable to travel to Kennedy-King College can listen to proceedings by calling 1- 888-523-1244, submitting the passcode 6727247, then pressing #. Listeners will be able to submit questions to an operator when the Q & A portion of the hearing’s program has begun.
A PDF of the complete proposed FY13 budget is available on CCC’s website at http://www.ccc.edu/departments/Pages/Budget-and-Planning.aspx . Paper copies of the budget are publicly available at the district office, 226 W. Jackson St in Chicago. Please submit any questions or comments regarding the proposed budget via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.