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Samantha Smylie, Chalkbeat Chicago

‘Ignore The Negativity’: 16 Chicago Valedictorians On Finishing High School In The COVID Era

Here, in their own words, the students describe how they got through these turbulent times and offer advice to their first-year selves.

Citywide

Which Education Bills Made It Through The Illinois Legislature?

Sick days for mental health and getting more substitute teachers into classrooms are some of the bills approved in Springfield.

Citywide

Illinois Lawmakers Pass Budget With More Money For Schools, Tax Relief For Families

The budget package also includes a “Back to School” tax relief for families and teachers for school supplies and clothing items.

Citywide

Pritzker Signs Bill Creating Paid COVID Sick Leave For All Vaccinated School Employees

The measure also restores COVID-related sick days to employees who had to use them earlier in the 2021-2022 school year.

Citywide

New CPS CEO Says He’ll Address Staffing Shortages And Transportation Issues For Students With Disabilities

Students with disabilities are still having trouble difficulty getting reliable transportation, and special education assistants have been pulled from classrooms because of staff shortages.

Citywide

Chicago’s Future School Board Members Will Not Be Paid, Raising Questions About Representation

The issue of compensation spotlights an ongoing concern for local advocates of the elected school board movement: whether the board will represent working-class families.

Citywide

Chicago Fell Behind On Plans For Students With Disabilities During COVID-19. New Data Shows The Depth Of The Problem

The pandemic year has uprooted support for students with disabilities in Chicago and nationwide, creating a backlog of Individualized Education Programs that could lead to widening academic gaps for students in need of special education services.

Citywide

Gov. Pritzker Says He Will Sign Bill To Establish Elected School Board In Chicago

The bill would phase in a fully elected Chicago school board by 2027, taking that authority out of the mayor's hands for the first time.

Citywide

In Haste, Illinois Senate Passes Compromise Bill For An Elected School Board In Chicago

Mayor Lori Lightfoot opposes an elected board and made a late push for a board that would be partially elected and partially appointed.

Citywide

Can A Compromise Be Reached On Chicago’s Elected School Board? Senate President ‘Confident’

Legislators are weighing a bill that would create a 21-person elected school board in Chicago by 2023, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot backs a bill to create a 7-member board with a majority of it appointed.

Citywide

Hybrid Or Elected School Board? Lightfoot Proposal Stirs Debate In Springfield

Sen. Kimberly Lightford said she will sponsor the mayor’s bill for a partly elected and partly appointed “hybrid” board. But Wednesday, Lightford criticized a bill to create a fully elected board, then voted for it.

Citywide

Chicago Could Bring Some Special Education Students Into School For Services Under New Plan

Since buildings closed in the spring, parents of children with disabilities have sounded the alarm, saying they aren’t able to meet the complex needs of their children the way a raft of school professionals could.

Downtown

For Parents Of Children With Disabilities, Remote Learning Feels Like Another Full-Time Job

Chicago Public Schools has pledged this year will be better for students in special education. But it’s still unclear how the district will provide some services virtually.

Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

‘They Know What They See’: Chicago Educators Reach Out To Students About Racism, Police Brutality After George Floyd’s Death

“We need to be present, we need to be available, we need to be accessible. Even if you don’t know what to say, show up and be present.”

Downtown

Schools Could Reopen In The Fall, Lightfoot Says — But Teachers Union Disagrees

Lightfoot said Friday that there are “different options” on the table. “Having alternate days. Kind of a platoon circumstance. Really limiting the number of kids that are in a classroom at any given time."

Downtown

For Chicago Homeless Students, School Provided More Than An Education. Here’s How They Are Coping

Homeless children already endured instability and uncertainty before a pandemic swiftly closed schools that fed, sheltered and educated them by day.

Downtown