Catalyst In Focus

Quick to punish

July 28, 2014

Students caught with an ounce or less of marijuana are more likely to be arrested in school than a student who starts a fight or steals. Hundreds of teens are arrested each year for drug offenses involving pot—offenses that may warrant only a ticket for adult Chicagoans.

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Drug policy should focus on teaching, not punishment

July 28, 2014

Jesus Velazquez got caught at school with a marijuana pipe in his backpack. What happened next is exactly what shouldn’t take place if a school district’s goal—or, from a larger perspective, a community’s goal—is to get kids who make dumb mistakes back on track. 

Stop warring over fixed pie of education funding

July 24, 2014

This week, the Chicago Board of Education approved a $5.8 billion operating budget for the 2014-2015 school year. With a full year of student-based budgeting underway, this budget represents an effort to stabilize a challenged system and presents an opportunity to prioritize funding in the classroom.

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Catalyst Notebook

Monday, Jul. 28, 2014 8:21 AM

Take 5: Charter admission transparency; new political coalition and career ed

1. Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday signed into law legislation intended to address some of the common complaints about charter schools, like that they are secretive or that they kick kids out and keep the money. HB3232 requires funding to follow students who transfer to and from charter schools throughout the school year. It also requires charter schools to video tape admission lotteries and turn over the video to the school district. In addition, charter schools will have to submit yearly audits and tax forms to ISBE.

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Friday, Jul. 25, 2014 3:03 PM

Comings and Goings: Price, King, Okezie-Phillips, new principals

John Price, former chief of schools of Network 4 for Chicago Public Schools, has been named assistant superintendent of schools for Evanston/Skokie Elementary School District 65. No replacement has yet been named.

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Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2014 4:24 PM

$5.8 billion schools budget gets final stamp of approval

Criticism from watchdog groups aside, School Board members on Wednesday unanimously approved a $5.8 billion budget while conceding that it was problematic to use a one-time accounting maneuver to erase a deficit.

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Tuesday, Jul. 22, 2014 3:45 PM

Charter school funding changes budget landscape

In the past, charter school parents were a regular presence at CPS board meetings, carrying signs demanding that their schools get equal funding. But lately, these parents are nowhere to be found.

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