Chicago overestimated projected savings from school closings by $122 million

May 3, 2013
District had said closing more than 50 schools would save $560 million over 10 years; now it says the figure is $437.8 million.

The Chicago school system will not be saving as much money by closing 54 schools as it originally told the public, WBEZ-Radio reports. When it announced the closings earlier this year, the district projected that it would save $560 million in capital expenses over the next 10 years. Now, the district says it was off by $122 million, or 20 percent. The real 10-year cost savings figure is $437.8 million, according to an estimate buried in a 457-page document that lays out the district’s facilities plan for the next decade. The district says it made an “honest mistake” when adding numbers, and had plugged in some schools that didn’t belong there. The overall cost savings is also being revised downward because schools that had not been assessed for years are getting thorough capital-needs reviews.

MORE: From the Chicago Public Schools' Draft Educational Facilities Master Plan: "...(W)e have updated our capital avoidance estimates associated with these consolidations, which now stands at $437.8 million over the next 10 years." (Page 36 of the report). View the Master Plan (PDF file).

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