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Want to improve schools? Chicago students have messages for the city’s next mayor

Money for arts programs.

A Spanish teacher at the start of school — not midway through the semester.

More paper.

More teachers.

Free public transit for students — all year long.

Ask students to list the education priorities for Chicago’s next mayor, and many of them will start in one place: more funding for their schools.

But they have plenty of other ideas, too, on ways that City Hall could work to improve conditions on the ground at the district’s 600-plus schools, from free public transportation to and from school to solutions to teacher shortages.

In advance of a December public forum we hosted on the topic of the mayor’s race and the future of schools, Chalkbeat spent a day talking to the people affected most by the politics of education: Chicago students. To hear more of what they said, watch this video, filmed on location at the Mikva Challenge 2018 Project Soapbox competition and produced by Chalkbeat reporter Yana Kunichoff and Scrappers Film Group.

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