Illinois legislators left Springfield a couple of weeks ago, but they’re already heading back. Here are some of the items on the docket.
Chicago Public Schools
Jose Torres, a former Chicago Public Schools official who previously led the second-largest school district in Illinois, will serve as interim CEO once Janice Jackson’s contract expires at the end of June.
As state lawmakers prepare to return to Springfield for a pivotal vote on whether Chicago Public Schools should be run by an elected school board, Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked members of the Illinois House to delay a vote approved by the Illinois Senate.
Educators at the all-male charter schools will receive pay raises, back pay for the last three years when contract negotiations were ongoing and commitments from administrators to follow special education requirements to support students.
Thirty-four Urban Prep Charter Academy teachers walked off the job Monday morning, weeks after a unanimous vote to strike over pay raises and an alleged refusal by the charter operator to provide some legally-mandated special education services.
Across the U.S., more children than ever before could be in classrooms for summer school this year to make up for lost learning during the outbreak, which caused monumental disruptions in education.
Republicans were in control of state government in 1995, when a change in Illinois law gave the mayor of Chicago the authority to appoint board members to run the city’s school district. Fast forward to 2021, and Republicans continue to favor that setup.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed concern the bill could have a “negative impact” on her ability to find the next CEO of Chicago Public Schools and said students and parents “don’t feel like they’ve been heard” by legislators about the bill.
Chicago Public Schools is currently the lone district in Illinois with a school board appointed by the mayor. But under legislation approved Tuesday evening by the Illinois Senate, the Chicago Board of Education would transition into a fully elected body by 2027.
All elementary and middle school students in Chicago Public Schools will advance to the next grade level, regardless of their academic success during the current academic year, under a new resolution to be considered by the district.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday renewed her campaign promise to breathe new life into neighborhoods that have faced decades of disinvestment. And she acknowledged that she felt “despair” at times during the past two years while she confronted the COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest and an economic meltdown.
The Illinois State Board of Education on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution in support of an upcoming declaration that will make it a requirement that schools reopen their doors in the fall, with only limited options for remote learning.
Chicago Public School officials say they hope to have a new CEO selected by late July. Miguel del Valle, the head of the Chicago Board of Education, joins us to discuss the process of picking the next chief.
Officials say search process will be the most inclusive in recent history
Chicago Public Schools officials say the district will host dozens of focus groups in the coming months to gather community feedback before making any decision about its next CEO. Current CEO Janice Jackson will be leaving the district when her contract expires at the end of June.
Converted CTA buses will visit 15 Chicago Public Schools to provide COVID-19 vaccines to students over the next three Saturdays, city health officials announced Thursday.
The district said the investment will support staffing, training and learning resources for International Baccalaureate, STEM/STEAM, fine and performing arts, and dual language programs at seven elementary schools over the next six years.