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: Byrd-Bennett on Broad Academy payroll
Substance News has obtained a document through a Freedom of Information Act request that shows CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has "secondary employment" with The Broad Superintendent Academy as an Executive Coach, a contract she entered into before assuming her appointment as CPS chief.
CPS Board president David Vitale approved Byrd-Bennett's request in November to fulfill her Broad obligation, which ends April 30. Also, according to Substance, the Broad website had a copy of its "Handbook on School Closings" available.
CLOSINGS AND SECURITY: As Chicago Public Schools gets ready to close an unknown number of schools across the city this year, officials acknowledge it's possible that more neighborhood schools could wind up sharing space with privately run charters, which in most cases have greater resources—and that could pose a security challenge, according to the Tribune.
MILITARY MOVE: Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th), who wants the Marine Math and Science Academy to move into the spacious newish building constructed for the Ames Middle School, approached CPS with the plan to give Logan Square a military school from grades seven to 12. (Sun-Times)
IN THE NATION
WELL BELOW AVERAGE: Texas has dropped closer to the bottom in spending per pupil in the U.S. and is now more than $3,000 below the national average – about $66,000 less per elementary classroom – according to new comparisons by the National Education Association. (Dallas Morning News)
CURSIVE CURRICULUM: A bill introduced in the North Carolina House this week would once again make cursive handwriting a part of the curriculum in state elementary schools. The “Back to Basics” bill also would require elementary students to memorize multiplication tables, though state education officials say that’s already part of the curriculum. (News & Observer)
FUNDING DISPARITY: California Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing to give all public school districts a base grant, then add an extra 35 percent of that for each student who is low-income, struggling with English or in foster care. If such students make up more than 50 percent of a district's population, another 35 percent supplement would be given. (Los Angeles Times)