Chicago Public Schools is launching a new department to respond to sex abuse allegations in an effort to reassure parents about their children's safety at school.

Lawmakers Approve School Funding Formula

Jun 1, 2017

Illinois lawmakers this week approved a measure that would overhaul the state’s inequitable school funding formula.  It passed with Democratic support, and one Republican.  Michael McAuliffe is the only Republican in the statehouse who represents a part of Chicago, the city’s northwest side.  The GOP has labeled every proposed change to the funding formula as a bailout for Chicago Public Schools.

Chicago Public Schools plans to take out a $389 million short-term loan to get the financially struggling district through the end of the school year and make a pension payment due next month.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the plan Friday. His appointed school board will vote on it Wednesday.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's chief education adviser says the governor won't support an overhaul of Illinois' school-funding formula if it benefits Chicago Public Schools "at the expense" of others.  The Illinois Senate approved legislation aimed at eliminating the disparity in spending between affluent school districts and those serving poorer communities. Similar legislation is in the House. 

A Cook County judge has ruled against the Chicago Public School's lawsuit over the funding of education by the state of Illinois.  Judge Franklin Ulyses Valderrama denied a CPS motion for an injunction seeking to bar the state from distributing education funds in a discriminatory manner. He also ruled in favor of the state's motion to dismiss the case, but is allowing CPS to come back with a new argument.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is dismissing the governor’s latest ideas for funding Chicago Public Schools.   The latest chapter of the battle between Governor Bruce Rauner and Emanuel centers around $215 million dollars for CPS that Rauner vetoed in December.   

Wikimedia Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Public Schools principals have been instructed by district officials not to let federal immigration authorities inside district buildings unless they have a criminal warrant.

In an open letter to parents of Chicago Public School students, the Rauner administration is defending its efforts on the district's behalf.  In the letter, Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis expressed dismay that Superintendent Forrest Claypool froze $46 million in discretionary spending. Claypool blamed Rauner for the move.  

Chicago Public Schools officials say the district is freezing millions of dollars in discretionary spending due to Gov. Bruce Rauner's lack of action.  The $46 million being frozen is about half what schools have for and non-salaried staff. However, officials say no school is to lose more than 5% of its initial budget this year.

Chicago State University is getting a whole new slate of leaders.  The school has struggled financially for the last few years due in part to the state’s budget impasse.  The majority of the South Side university’s students are African-Americans.

A credit ratings agency says for the Chicago Public Schools to work its way out of debt it must consider a property tax hike of more than $400 million annually.  Moody's Investors Service says the new tax revenue would be used to make debt payments now covered with state aid meant for the classroom. 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is defending his veto of millions of dollars set aside for Chicago Public Schools.  The Republican governor says he had a deal with Democrats.  Pass pension reform.  And then Chicago Public Schools would get $215 million.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he'll meet with legislative leaders to negotiate a budget deal, and he's willing to include money he vetoed for Chicago Public Schools if it's part of a "comprehensive package."

In a sign the stalemate in Springfield is as strong as ever, Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill that had once been held up as proof he and Democratic leaders were capable of working together.  The action leaves politicians divided.  And it could leave the financially-ailing Chicago Public Schools short some $215 million.

The Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates has endorsed a tentative contract agreement reached with the city's school district.  According to the union, the delegates approved the four-year deal by a 2-1 ratio. The contract proposal now will go before the union's approximately 28,000 members on Oct. 27 for final approval.

The owner of a pair of education-services companies has pleaded guilty to offering bribes and kickbacks to the former head of Chicago Public Schools.  Federal prosecutors say Gary Solomon entered into a plea agreement admitting he offered ex-CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett bribes and kickbacks in exchange for her steering $23 million in contracts to his companies.

Students and teachers in Chicago headed back to the classroom after the Chicago Teachers Union, and the nation's third-largest school district, averted a strike with a late-night tentative contract agreement.  The union had been prepared to hit the picket lines this morning for what would have been the second major Chicago Public Schools strike since 2012. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Jean Paul Holmes

Chicago teachers are picking up signs and T-shirts as they prepare for a potential strike.  Members of the Chicago Teachers Union are set to hit the picket lines at 6 a.m. Tuesday if union negotiators and Chicago Public Schools officials don't strike a tentative deal on a new contract.

Chicago officials say all schools will remain open if there's a teachers strike this month.  Chicago Public Schools say schools will provide free breakfast and lunch to students in need. Staff from the district's central office will be dispatched to schools to help with online learning, physical education and arts and crafts. Principals and security staff will remain in schools. However, classes and extracurricular activities will be canceled.

Chicago Public Schools has announced the layoff of about 250 teachers and staff members, citing a steeper-than-expected decline in enrollment.  CPS says total enrollment on the 10th day of the school year was 378,481 students, down 14,000 students from last year.

Flickr Creative Commons/Shutter Stutter

Teachers in the country's third-largest city have cranked up the heat in contract talks, threatening to go on strike in less than two weeks.  The Chicago Teachers Union and school district officials are clashing over cost-of-living raises, pension contributions and health care costs in negotiations that have stretched into a second year. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Shutter Stutter

Teachers in the nation's third-largest school district are casting ballots on whether they support a strike.  Members of the Chicago Teachers Union began voting for a strike authorization today. Voting lasts through Friday. Union officials say the results won't be available right away. 

The Chicago Teachers Union has set dates for a strike authorization vote.  The union's House of Delegates says a vote will take place beginning Sept. 21 and run through at least Sept. 23.  Union members last spring approved a strike authorization. However, officials say a second vote would cover them legally to strike this fall.

The spotlight is on contract talks between teachers and officials with the nation's third-largest school district as Chicago students attend the first day of school.  Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, both held public appearances today. 

Figures released by Chicago Public Schools show continued improvement in the district's graduation rate.  The nation's third-largest school district announced that just over 73% of students who entered Chicago high schools as freshmen in 2011 graduated by summer of 2016. . 

The Chicago Board of Education has unanimously approved a $5.4 billion budget that will include increased property taxes.  The vote followed protests by teachers and parents who say the plan calls for too many layoffs and cuts. Other advocacy groups also have expressed concerns.


A political ad opposing three Democrats is using a photo of an abandoned building to portray Chicago Public Schools to a downstate Illinois audience. 

Illinois Public Radio's Tony Arnold reports.


The image shows a dilapidated building, with broken windows and chipped paint.  It’s also on the stock photo website Shutterstock. A Republican Party spokesman says it’s up to the individual viewer to decide how they interpret the image. A CPS spokeswoman calls the image “disgraceful.”

  CHICAGO  - Elevated lead levels have been found in water in five more Chicago public schools, bringing to 19 the number of buildings where tests have uncovered levels that exceed the federal standard of 15 parts per billion.

Governor compairs schools to prisons

Jun 6, 2016

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is comparing some Chicago Public Schools to prisons.  The state currently has no plan for how to fund schools.  And the plans that Democrats have come up with so far - Governor Rauner has ridiculed for giving too much to Chicago Public Schools.

State lawmakers are considering whether school board members in Chicago should be elected — as they are in all other Illinois school districts.