Jobs and schools promise to be top issues in next year’s city elections. The mayor’s education agenda faces its toughest test in the African-American communities that gave him strong support in 2011.
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In the News: Trib uncovers secret CPS closing plan
An internal Chicago Public Schools document obtained by the Tribune shows for the first time that the Emanuel administration has weighed how many elementary and high schools to close in which neighborhoods and how to manage the public fallout.
Labeled a "working draft," the Sept. 10 document lays out the costs and benefits of specific scenarios — revealing that the administration has gone further down the path of determining what schools to target than it has disclosed.
The Chicago Teachers Union along with labor leaders and activists held a news conference at the Chicago Board of Education headquarters Tuesday to discuss a new report on how to improve educational outcomes for CPS students, and to call for a halt to charter proliferation in the city. The coalition then lead a delegation to the office of Bruce Rauner, a well-known charter booster who is close to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and "has advocated for the destruction of neighborhood schools." (Press release)
The Chicago Teachers Union marched to the Loop office of a wealthy charter supporter and friend of the mayor on Tuesday, the day before the Chicago Board of Education is set to approve new charter schools even as it considers closing traditional schools. The 100 or so marchers carried a giant letter through rush hour traffic to the lobby of 208 S. LaSalle, home of one of Bruce Rauner’s business ventures, saying if they couldn’t get a meeting about schools with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, they’d ask his friend to deliver a message. They chanted loudly until Chicago Police cleared the lobby. (Sun-Times)
The security chief for Chicago Public Schools vowed Monday to absorb a $5 million cut in annual security funding with no further cuts in the 153 uniformed police officers permanently assigned to high schools, according to the Sun-Times (Lawofficer.com)
IN THE NATION
A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty on Monday to defrauding New York City’s Education Department of $2.7 million that was intended for children with special needs, according to federal prosecutors. (The New York Times)
An audit from the New York State comptroller’s office is the latest to reveal shortcomings in the preschool special education system, which serves about 60,000 children a year and costs $2 billion annually. (The New York Times)
Michelle Rhee says her organization StudentsFirst "must publicly oppose legislation that would bring firearms into schools, anywhere. … New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is right when he says that our nation’s leaders must not let this moment pass without taking strong action." (The Washington Post)
Some public officials argue that armed school workers could help prevent killings, but others raise legal and practical concerns. (Education Week)