Franklin Fine Arts Center students are joining rock bands, taking ukulele classes, or joining the choir ensemble thanks to Anne Gray.
Vallas’s education platform brings back some policies from his time as CEO of Chicago Public Schools. His platform proposes to expand charters, alternative schools, and work study programs. Vallas also wants to keep schools open on nights, weekends, holidays, and during summer to provide young people a safe place to go.
Nearly 700 school leaders say the Illinois teacher shortage is getting worse and makes it difficult to find qualified teachers and fill vacancies in hard-to-fill positions like special education and bilingual education.
The Illinois State Board of Education named Tony Sanders as the next state superintendent. Sanders, who is currently the superintendent of Elgin’s U-46, will start his new job on Feb. 23.
Chicago music teacher Trevor Nicholas is inspiring his students to live out their dreams after a tumultuous few years from the COVID pandemic.
After collecting dozens of questions from readers, Chalkbeat Chicago sent 10 to the candidates running for mayor. Here’s a look at where they stand on the top issues facing Chicago Public Schools.
Some of the 18 charter schools and networks that received renewals this week pleaded for longer renewal periods.
The Board of Ethics has previously warned elected officials and campaigns to scrub their listserv of any government emails.
Illinois public schools saw a 1.7% drop in enrollment this school year, according to data from Dec. 14. But the number of English learners is growing.
Chicago and other districts are adopting a University of Chicago questionnaire that asks students about learning conditions in their classrooms.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot disputed claims that her office interfered with plans to extend the city’s more generous parental leave policy to school employees.
Chicago Public Schools will host the first of three public meetings at 6 p.m. Jan. 19. Residents are invited to weigh in on the plan to build a new high school on vacant land at 26th and State streets, where the Harold L. Ickes Homes once stood.
On eve of retirement, Superintendent Carmen Ayala talks to Chalkbeat Chicago about her work on equity and teacher recruitment, and what’s still unfinished.
The migrants — single men and women who are mostly asylum seekers — are expected to move into the former school campus starting the week of Jan. 23. The campus, vacant since 2017, will be a shelter for up to two years, city officials said.

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Mayor says outreach to to educators at Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges was an “honest mistake” by a staffer.
The move may violate city and district ethics rules surrounding political activity and official business.
Gun violence and reproductive rights dominated Illinois’ lame-duck session, but state lawmakers did pass education legislation. Here are some school-related bills you might have missed.
The candidates have varying connections to the city’s schools and young people. Chalkbeat Chicago is summing up what they’ve done and is asking readers what questions we should ask them.
In his inauguration speech, the governor said he would make college tuition free for working-class families and expand preschool to all Illinois families.
A bill that will give Chicago principals and assistant principals collective bargaining rights passed the state Senate 45-7, and heads to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk.
The Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol inspired Anne-Michele Boyle to step up her media literacy curriculum.
The school district says it’s taking the time it needs to get an updated parental leave policy right.
In 2022, investigators found dozens of instances of sexual misconduct and abuse, schools mislabeling truants as transfers, a surge in overtime payments, and an end to automatic JROTC enrollment.
Pritzker said he wants to make Illinois the number one state for making child care accessible to families during his second term in office.
District leaders are urging families to get vaccinated, but the school system isn’t keeping tabs on how many students are receiving COVID boosters.
It’s been a tumultuous and uncertain year for public schools in Chicago and Illinois. But there have also been moments of joy and resilience. Chalkbeat Chicago reporters documented it all. Here are a dozen of the top stories of 2022.
On Monday, Benito Juarez students and staff returned to class after the fatal shooting of Brandon Perez and Nathan Billegas outside of school. Students led a walkout and march to protest gun violence and to honor both student victims.
With cases of COVID-19, flu, and other respiratory viruses on the rise, Chicago’s top doctor Allison Arwady and schools chief Pedro Martinez are encouraging students to stay vigilant during the holiday break.
Chicago Public Schools dispatched crisis teams to Benito Juarez Community Academy High School Monday and the school is offering a shortened schedule this week to give students time to process what happened. But because gun violence can ripple through many schools, Chalkbeat compiled a list of resources available to students.
Chronic absenteeism in Illinois rose to about 30% from 17.5% in 2019. Educators, researchers, and advocates blame the rise in COVID-19 cases, mental health, and struggling to adjust to classrooms after remote learning.
District leaders and police officers are investigating the shooting that happened during dismissal Friday. Chicago Public Schools plans to dispatch crisis counselors on Monday to students and staff.
Less than half of the federal COVID money sent to Illinois has been spent by school districts, according to a new data dashboard. The money has so far helped pay for staff, new technology, tutoring, and building repairs.
The Illinois state board of education wants to increase funding for the evidence-based funding formula for K-12 school districts, early childhood programs, and career and technical education. But concerns about an uncertain economy overshadow the process.
Chicago Public Schools will use the money to buy land and swap property with Chicago Housing Authority to make way for the new campus.
Chicago’s public schools saw a historic investment in technology thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and federal dollars. But the district has struggled to keep track of inventory and lacks a cohesive plan for using the new devices to accelerate learning, WBEZ and Chalkbeat found.
Chicago Public Schools gets initial OK for city money to buy parcels, swap land with Chicago Housing Authority to make way for a new Near South high school.
School social worker Mary Difino wears many hats to meet persistent behavioral concerns and support students’ needs as Chicago recovers from COVID-related disruptions.
CEO Pedro Martinez, who started last September, has led the district through a tumultuous return to in-person learning that included a rocky COVID-19 testing roll out and showdown with the teachers union.
If we don’t face and accept our current reality, it will be hard for us to change it.
Sendhil Revuluri announced his resignation after three years helping oversee the school district. He was appointed in 2019 by Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Local and national reading advocates speak about the need to help students read by using evidence-based reading strategies to get students on track early.
Applications for next school year are due Thursday, Dec. 8 at 5 p.m. Students can apply for magnet, gifted, selective enrollment, charter, and neighborhood schools through the GoCPS portal. Offers will be made in the spring.