Principal Thompson gives overview of budget in special April LSC meeting


The Lane LSC at their April 18 special meeting. (Screenshot from the Lane Tech YouTube channel)

By Aidan Sadovi, Managing Editor

Heralding the late-year proposal of school budgets around CPS is more spending proposals than other months of the year in LSC (Local School Council) meetings leading up to late April, as classes, departments, teams and others hope to be on the receiving end of funds before the next budget is approved and the next school and fiscal year starts.  

On Monday, April 18, Principal Edwina Thompson gave a presentation of the proposed school year 2022-23 budget to the LSC, which she already gave in a preliminary presentation to Lane staff. 

Thompson also said she’s already met with the CPS network chief in regards to the budget, but her approval could not come until the LSC accepted or declined the budget proposal, which was due the next day, April 19. 

S.B.B. (Student Based Budgeting)

The presentation started off with an overview of SBB funds, or student-based budgeting. SBB is a type of funding that distributes funds “on a per pupil basis,” according to CPS. 

Thompson said Lane’s current enrollment is 4,386 students. The principal told the LSC earlier in the year how Lane experienced a slight dip in enrollment, which affects how much funds a school receives. 

“This has been a slow decline. We knew that it was coming,” Thompson said at the Monday meeting. She cited the pandemic and remote learning as one of the reasons.

This enrollment number, she continued to say, would grow this fall. 

CPS funded Lane for the recorded 4,386 students, to which Thompson said she asked for an enrollment appeal. 

“I asked for them to give us some additional money so that we would not take as drastic of a cut to our budget, and they granted it for 44 additional students.” 

In order to continue this, Lane would need to have at least 4,430 by the 20th day of school, or pay back the extra funding they were given. Thompson said she was confident Lane would achieve this goal.  

$26,841,860 was the amount originally provided, but with the enrollment appeal, this number came to $27,119,253.

S.A. (Supplementary Aid) 

Thompson said this aid “goes up and down” and is dependent on the number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. 

“Over the years, I would say even during my time as an assistant principal, we went from close to 60%, and now we’re only at about 35.5% of students who qualify,” Thompson said. 

Lane receives a dollar amount for every student who qualifies, as Thompson said. This goes to supplement school fees that students can not otherwise pay for. 

This is part of one larger budget, which can be used for staffing, textbooks or whatever Lane needs to “run our building,” as Thompson said. 

Thompson said Lane received $1.7 million Last year and approximately $1,596,438 this year. 

“Most people don’t realize this, but every CPS student receives free lunch; however they still… enact the free and reduced lunch waivers to help with fees, etc., and provide additional support for students.”  

Thompson said Lane lost $117,000 in S.A. this year. 

Along with some other losses, Thompson said Lane lost around $250 dollars for bilingual support. 

According to Principal Thompson, all of this left Lane with a net total of $310,077 in S.A.

New Positions 

Thompson said two new P.E. positions had to be opened, which corresponded with the departure of two retiring teachers — one in social sciences and the other in art. 

Through S.B.B. and S.A. funding, Lane was able to keep the college and career coach and community representative positions gained through the “Moving Forward Fund” given at the beginning of the pandemic.   

After SBB and SA, the school was Left with $3,639. This money will be placed on “a contingency line” for possible increases in teacher pay. 

Thompson said there would be no “buckets” (of funding) to provide for things like tutoring, professional development, substitutes, SAT prep, school furniture and textbooks. 

“There are no buckets from our district funding that will be able to cover that.” 

Despite this, Thompson announced that certain categories from the list above can be covered using OST, or “out of school time” funding. The school will have to apply for this, however, before receiving grant money. Previously, all schools received OST money due to the pandemic. 

In response to a question from an LSC member, Thompson said she believed, though she wasn’t sure, that the funding was federal. Before the pandemic, OST was a type of funding that Lane was not given.  

Lane received about $348,000 in OST funding last year, according to Thompson , which the school has not been able to use all of. This money has gone towards activities like SAT prep, tutoring, club sponsors and chaperones for Grad Nite, according to Thompson.

On the topic of Grad Nite, Thompson said Lane is paying overtime to teachers who are volunteering for the event at Six Flags.  

Thompson was adamant that tutoring, professional development and “summer–teen collaborations” would still exist next year, however. 

Centrally-funded positions 

Lane received three new so-called “core instructional positions.” 

Thompson said Lane is expected to use these for “instructional coaching purposes.” 

As for the Diverse Learners program, Thompson said anything related to Diverse Learners is funded by the district. Lane is to receive an additional 11 non-cluster teachers for an increasing DL population. 

One of the CPS goals/benchmarks around this program is for all schools to have at least 14% of their population with IEPs, which, according to Thompson, is a percentage goal that will increase. 

“We will make sure we will have supports in place,” Thompson said. “Right now we’re considering how we’re going to differentiate the strategies and make that a more pointed effort for next year.” 

For the most part, she said, all of Lane’s diverse learners are in traditional classrooms, as part of the co-teaching model. 

The current percentage of diverse learners is under 6%, Thompson said. 

Lane will also be given funding for half of a case manager position, which Lane will fund the other half of. Also being reeived is funding for a half-paid-for bilingual teacher (the district pays half of the salary), funding for four “Selective Enrollment High School program positions,” funding for four ROTC positions (though three of them are unoccupied), funding for eight security positions (there are currently 12, Lane will pay for the other four), funding for two school assistants and funding for an Athletic Director. 

To fill the vacant Athletic Director (AD) position after current AD Nicholas Logalbo steps down at the end of the year, Lane will be hiring from inside the building. Thompson said that she has already received applications for this position and that a teacher will shift into this position. Because of this, the teacher will have to be replaced in their former subject. 

“We have a huge athletic department,” Thompson said. “It cannot be run by one full-time position.” 

Because of this, Thompson said Lane needed two full-time positions to run the department like they want but that “we don’t have the liberty to do that right now.” 

Additional funds 

The application for additional OST funds closes in May, so Thompson said she imagined that Lane would figure out whether their appeal was sustained by before July 4.

“The great thing about it is we would still be able fund the things we need to fund.” Thompson said. “We would still be able to survive.” 

Thompson said what  “worried” her was if Lane had lost its SBB appeal and lost an additional $271,000.  

“When I first received the budget, we really needed to cut $890,000. That’s where we started, honestly,” Thompson said.  

The budget meeting ended on a summative note, as Principal Thompson thanked the district for funding Lane at a larger number of students then the school actually had last year. 

She also pointed to increased labor expenses and fewer students qualifying for free and reduced lunch as reasons why Lane received less money this year. 

If Lane’s enrollment, Thompson said, goes past 4,430 on the 20th day of the next school year, the school would receive extra money. Thompson said that she sent a survey to teachers to determine how they would want the school to use the money. 

“They have a lot of interesting things to share,” Thompson said. 

Thompson said she was “confident” that the school could reach this number.


The LSC voted unanimously to approve the budget, to clamorous applause. 

Principal Evaluation 

The committee went into closed session for a principal evaluation with Thompson, which lasted for about an hour and 43 minutes, before adjourning.