Cincinnati Public Schools hosted the first of a series of roundtable engagement sessions planned for the next several weeks to receive public input on its 2024-25 budget and the financial challenges the district faces.
The goal is to provide attendees with insights into the budget process and the district’s financial forecasts. A key element will be the potential impacts of changes to the state of Ohio’s school funding formula, including the end of a pandemic-era program called the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. CPS received roughly $86.4 million in ESSER funding last fiscal year alone.
As a result of the reduction in funds, due in part to a nominal decrease in student enrollment, CPS is estimating a budget decrease of about 15% or at least $89.1 million, from $696.3 million to just over $607 million.
The district expects its financial needs to increase over the course of the next fiscal year. Exact need will depend on any changes to negotiated contracts with staff or vendors, per CPS.
Forecasted budget costs for the next fiscal year also don’t currently consider any other financial challenges that will arise, such as facility repairs or new initiatives.
During the roundtables, students, parents, caregivers and community members can ask questions, share feedback and offer possible budgetary solutions.
The first meeting took place Tuesday, Nov. 28 at CPS’ Mary A. Ronan Education Center on Burnet Avenue. The 90-minute roundtable featured comments from school administrators and members of the community. Additional dates are below.
The district stated its intention to offer “special times” for CPS staff and students to weigh in on the budget. It hosted five meetings in November for staff, broken down by position – from union executive boards to principals to teachers and other in-school employees.
The Cincinnati Board of Education will vote on and approve a final 2024-25 budget in June.
“CPS and our entire community must come together to discuss future impacts and possible solutions that best serve students and families,” the district wrote in a public announcement of the roundtables.
“Your input is needed as CPS develops a budget for the 2024-2025 school year and beyond,” the statement continued. “Your participation will help build a brighter future for Cincinnati’s students, families and staff.”
Upcoming budget roundtables
- Friday, Dec. 1: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (virtual only)
- Wednesday, Dec. 6: 5:30 to 7 p.m. (Be Present! Community Town Hall)
- Wednesday, Dec. 13: 5 to 6:30 p.m. (virtual only)
- Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024: 5:30 to 7 p.m.