About Chicago Public Schools Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is committed to providing a high-quality public education for every child, in every neighborhood, that prepares each for success in college, career and civic life. CPS is the third largest school district in the United States with a budget of nearly $5.5 billion, serving approximately 370,000 students, with over 35,000 employees at 650 schools across the City of Chicago. Rooted in the values of equity, whole child, community partnership, continuous learning, student centered, and academic excellence, the district has boldly identified three commitments to fulfill its mission: academic progress, financial stability, and integrity. The district’s Five-Year Vision calls for extraordinary leadership at every level of the organization to ensure that each school is one of high quality and opportunity in service to the belief that success starts here in Chicago Public Schools.
About the Chief Financial Officer Role CPS is seeking a Chief Financial Officer who can effectively lead the comprehensive fiscal stewardship of CPS’ resources. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer has broad responsibility to serve on the CEO’s cabinet and to spearhead CPS’s financial strategy to support effective budget planning, maximize available funds, and ensure equitable distribution of resources to support student success based on the district’s vision, mission, and commitments. The CFO is an advisor and collaborator with district and city leaders, and is responsible for the administration and oversight of all financial activities within the Financial Planning Unit including Corporate Accounting, Treasury, Accounts Payable/P-Card, Grants Management, and Budgets. The CFO sets goals and objectives that direct the equitable management of all fiscal resources.
The Chief Financial Officer will be accountable for the following areas of responsibility:
Strategic District Leadership Identify and lead implementation of strategic financial strategies that maximize available funds, and ensure equitable distribution of resources across the district to support student success. Provide strategic leadership to shape the District’s annual budget and multi-year financial plans in conjunction with the Chief Executive Officer and Board of Education. Spearhead, in collaboration with members of the senior leadership team, annual capital planning and monitoring processes so that capital expenditures reinforce broader programmatic goals.
Financial Planning Unit Supervision Serve as lead representative for the district on budgetary matters in a variety of venues, including public hearings, Board meetings, media briefings, and external stakeholder and community meetings. Collaborate with the Budget Director to generate forecast for all funds, grants and resources, to achieve an annual balanced budget. Support the Budget Director to facilitate the preparation and presentation of monthly budget reporting and annual projections for all aspects of the CPS budget; collaborate with directors and team leaders to inspect the accuracy of analysis and data in departmental reports. Explore opportunities to streamline, improve, and update services and operations across the functions and bureaus of the Financial Planning Unit.
Department Leadership Manage the performance and effectiveness of the Financial Planning Unit, including the successful implementation of financial and budget goals, effective controls and monitoring of the district’s budget, efficient operational processes, and excellent service to schools and district offices. Direct the receipt, management of investments and expenditures of the district's funds to ensure proper and maximum returns on these funds. Forecast short- and long-range cash requirements and obligations as a basis for sound financial and equitable funding mechanisms.
The ideal Chief Financial Officer candidate will demonstrate the following attributes:
Influence and Leadership Navigates political structures, relationships, and dynamics to improve results for students. Challenges ideas to enable financially sound, equitable, student centered decisions. Prepares the CEO and cabinet for effective decision-making conversations, anticipating and organizing key questions and data that support productive discussions to direct key fiscal priorities. Builds coalitions and works collaboratively with diverse stakeholders at all levels of the organization, including district personnel, students, families, communities, civil leaders, and advocacy groups.
Team Engagement and Management Leads a diverse and large staff with different experiences and working styles. Gains the trust and respect of all staff, cultivating personal accountability among staff for excellent service, problem solving, and efficient budget processes. Delegates and leverages the team effectively to achieve ambitious goals related to CPS’ vision and mission.
Strategic Planning and Effective Execution Thrives as a systems thinker, and is able to see how individual and department actions impact the overall district operations processes and ability to achieve goals. Demonstrates outstanding critical thinking skills, including the ability to analyze data, identify trends, pinpoint problems and root causes, ask probing questions, and develop innovative solutions. Demonstrates excellent execution and leadership skills, including acute attention to detail; the ability to balance overarching district goals with detailed steps to achieve financial objectives; and, the ability to lead bureau directors in the Financial Planning Unit to balance multiple projects and clear deadlines in a politically vibrant environment. Collaborates with civic and political leaders in the commitment to securing more equitable state funding for schools and districts.
Financial Management Expertise Demonstrates a high level of financial planning and budget management expertise with a multi-billion dollar annual budget designed to increase equitable access for stakeholders, and to amplify student achievement outcomes. Emphasizes the importance of the Financial Planning Unit’s essential role serving the district’s students, families, staff, and community partners in interactions and communication with internal and external stakeholders. Understands Student-Based Budgeting (SBB) and how to support functional team leaders to build capacity in school leaders to employ equitable, economical, and efficient SBB practices to amplify access and opportunities for students in every school. Evaluates funding models and identifies opportunities to increase equitable access to resources for historically underserved populations of students.
Minimum Qualifications: At least ten years of progressive, full-time, professional experience in budget leadership, public policy, public administration, or business management. Must have direct experience budgeting, budget preparation, financial monitoring, and financial analysis and evidence of success leading and managing a multi-million dollar budget. Public sector work experience strongly preferred. A minimum of 7 years of senior level supervisory experience required. Thorough knowledge of various types of public budgeting practices, policies, procedures, and challenges. Excellent written and oral communication skills. Experience in implementing comprehensive financial management systems, practices, and policies for an organization of significant size. Proficient in the use of appropriate technological applications, including Microsoft Office, as well as other critical financial applications currently utilized in CPS. Commitment to public policy, urban public education, and public sector work.
Residency Requirement: As a condition of employment with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), employees are required to live within the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago within six months of his or her CPS hire date.