As we learned in earlier posts (and see here), Chicago Public Schools cuts the central office budget every year. It is ruthless with the central office budget. No one works at headquarters except possibly Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

This reader has studied the budget and offers an overview:

“Since 2008, CPS has claimed $1.3 BILLION in central office budget cuts. That’s based on an annual budget of somewhere between $5 billion and $6 billion.

To think of it another way, CPS has lowered total budget expenses at least 22% by making cuts to central office. Central office accounts for only about 5% of the overall CPS budget.

Or, think of it like this: in the last six years CPS has completely eliminated central office 5 times over.

Still, according to CPS, “The General Operating Fund ended FY2012 with a surplus of $328 million, which compared favorably with the budgeted deficit of $241 million.” Amazing!

The rough numbers I came up with are based on a quick and dirty review of CPS budgets, press releases, and mainstream news media reports.

FY2013: $600M
FY2012: $107M
FY2011: $161M
FY2010: $100M
FY2009: $90M
FY2008: $114M

It was only six years ago the Board of Education said this in the FY2007 final budget report: “CPS ended last fiscal year in strong financial condition, with revenues moderately higher and expenditures less than budgeted.”

Oh, wait. That’s not old news. CPS finished the most recent school year with a surplus of $344 million. And then closed 50 schools and laid off thousands of teachers because they couldn’t afford them.”