Stories by Brandis Friedman

CTU, CPS Agree to Contract, Full Cost Remains Unclear

Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey (Chicago Tonight)

Chicago teachers were back in schools Tuesday instead of on the picket line. We take a closer look at the eleventh hour contract agreement between the district and teachers union.

CTU Preps for Second Strike in 2 Contracts

Picket signs are printed and teachers say they're ready to walk out as parents scramble to find care for their children.

CPS Sends Layoff Notices to Almost 250 Teachers, Staff

Karen Lewis and members of the Chicago Teachers Union announce on Sept. 28 a strike date of Oct. 11 if no contract agreement is reached with Chicago Public Schools. (Brandis Friedman / Chicago Tonight)

Some Chicago Public Schools students may be missing their teachers as more than 250 layoff notices go out Monday.

Whole Foods Brings Economic Development, Lower Prices to Englewood

A brand-new grocery store opens its doors in one of the city's food deserts. What does it mean for neighbors in Englewood?

CTU Sets October Strike Date if No Contract Agreement Reached

The CTU plans to serve CPS its 10-day strike notice Thursday for a possible Oct. 11 walkout. We hear more about the plan from CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey.

Lawmakers Considering How to Pay for an Education Funding Overhaul

Though the state is spending more money on education this year than in the past seven years at least, some advocates argue it's still not enough, and the way we spend that money is inequitable. Thursday, we report on how lawmakers are working to change that.

Education Funding in Illinois: How the Evidence-Based Model Works

One way to achieve the goal of providing an “adequate” education to all Illinois school children? Spending much more money per child. We crunch the numbers.

Charters Closed by CPS Are Back to School Under State Control

Students at three Chicago charter schools won a fight to keep doors open, but the schools are now under state control. A look at how they're starting off the new school year.

Rwandan Genocide Survivor, Advocate on Holocaust, Modern-Day Genocide

(Courtesy of Clemantine Wamariya)

It was one of the most brutal massacres of our generation: hundreds of thousands killed during the Rwandan genocide. Survivor Clemantine Wamariya shares her story and her work to make sure it never happens again.

Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates Plans for 2nd Strike Vote

The rank-and-file members of the Chicago Teachers Union have already approved a strike, but the union is planning a second vote. Find out why.

CPS School Year Starts Again Without Teachers Contract

For the second year in a row, Chicago Public Schools begins the school year without a teachers contract. Can a deal be struck soon?

Violence-Prevention Program Starts in Hospitals Instead of Streets

Helping patients recover from gunshot wounds is just one part of a new violence-prevention program at Stroger Hospital. A look at how workers are going above and beyond the bedside.

New ‘Bizarre’ Gang Surfaces in Cook County Jail

A new gang has surfaced at the Cook County Jail that even the sheriff refers to as “bizarre.” Tom Dart credits members of the gang, called Savage Life, with a hostage incident that occurred at the jail late last month.

Budget Watchdog Group Rejects ‘Optimistic’ $5.4B CPS Proposal

Laurence Msall of the Civic Federation

The day before Chicago Public Schools board members are set to vote on the district’s budget for fiscal year 2017, some analysts are expressing concerns.

CPS Releases Budget for Coming School Year, Counts on CTU Contract

Now that Chicago Public Schools has released its budget plans for the coming year, can the district and the Chicago Teachers Union finally nail down a contract agreement?

Remembering the 1st Step of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1,000-Mile March

Permanent Memorial to King Erected in Marquette Park

Once a neighborhood unwelcoming to families of color, Marquette Park is not only a more diverse community today, but one that's now home to a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial.

Obama Foundation Makes It Official: Jackson Park for Obama Library

Mayor Rahm Emanuel: “I want to make sure the entire city of Chicago, specifically the South Side of Chicago, benefits from a once-in-a-lifetime cultural and educational investment.”

The secret got out last week, but the Obama Foundation made it official at a news conference on Wednesday: Jackson Park will be the main home of the 44th U.S. president's library.

FOP President Dean Angelo on Shooting of Paul O’Neal, Labor Day Weekend Staffing

Dean Angelo

In a phone call late Monday afternoon, Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo spoke about the recent police-involved shooting of Paul O’Neal and the union’s call for police officers to reject Labor Day weekend overtime.

Frustrated Top Cop Calls for Tougher Gun Laws

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson at a press conference Monday.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson says his department has so far made 1,900 gun arrests in 2016, a 7-percent increase over the first seven months of 2015.

Parents, Aldermen Call for New Revenue for Schools

The group Parents 4 Teachers hopes that a package of ordinances introduced Wednesday in City Council will increase funding to CPS. (Parents 4 Teachers)

During a City Council meeting on Wednesday, a handful of aldermen introduced a package of ordinances that the group Parents 4 Teachers hopes will increase funding to CPS and spare further budget cuts.

CPS Faces Steady Enrollment Decline, Not All Principals Happy With Budgets

(Brandis Friedman)

Though the district’s student-based budgeting rate remains at the lowered amount set in February, a declining enrollment means a shrinking budget for schools.

CPS Principals Finally Get Draft Budgets for School Year

Though the school year has been rife with fiscal crisis, Chicago Public Schools’ principals now know that the cuts to their school budgets will not be as deep as threatened in recent months.

New Commission Forms to Solve Old Problem: Education Funding

It's not the first education funding reform committee in Illinois, but the governor says he’s hoping this one will be the one to get the job done.

Protests Continue in Wake of Police Shootings Around US

Over the weekend, Chicago police arrested 21 protesters on charges ranging from obstructing traffic and resisting arrest to aggravated battery of a peace officer. Demonstrators say more protests are planned for the week ahead.

South Side Bank a Bright Spot as Black-Owned Businesses Face Decline

Words of optimism from the new owners of a black-owned South Side bank that had been in financial trouble. Why they say keeping such businesses alive is crucial.