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Current Issue

The race for City Hall

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.

Catalyst Notebook

Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 9:08am

Take 5: UNO's shaky finances, 36 kids in a class, school lunches, NYC preschool for the rich

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Tags: Take 5

The fiscal health of the UNO Charter School Network--the third largest network in Chicago serving more than 7,500 students--is mixed, a situation "that could impair long-term fiscal viability," according to a new report from the Civic Federation. UNO recently settled a case with the Securities and Exchange Commission and acknowledged that it was being audited by the IRS, according to the Sun Times.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 7:15pm

Preschool expansion via 'social impact' bonds

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A group of investors is betting $17 million that getting more of Chicago’s children into quality early learning programs will generate bigger savings in the long term.

The investors will make a loan to the city so that 2,600 additional children can take part in half-day pre-school programs in the distirct's much-lauded child-parent centers over the next four years, city officials announced Tuesday.

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Monday, October 6, 2014 - 10:30am

Take 5: Charter slow down, striking teachers and public education in politics

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Tags: Take 5

The Chicago Sun Times applauds Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS for not approving any new charter schools this year. The editorial says it is about time the district took a break. “Though we support quality charter options in Chicago, CPS’ breakneck pace of new charter openings at a time of tremendous financial stress has unfairly siphoned resources from traditional public schools.

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Friday, October 3, 2014 - 6:22pm

Gay, transgender students seek more support

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Tags: high schools

Katya Mazon had never been heavily involved with the LGBTQ community, until two and a half years ago, when she attended her first Illinois Safe Schools Alliance meeting. One of her friends, who self-identified as “queer," invited her and said there would be food.

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Friday, October 3, 2014 - 7:00am

Elected school board to be litmus test for aldermanic candidates: grassroots groups

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As if Chicago’s upcoming mayoral election didn’t already promise to feature education as a prominent campaign issue, a coalition of community and labor groups are now trying to get a measure for an elected school board on February’s ballot in each of the city’s 50 wards.

Part of their strategy, organizers say, is to make the question of whether Chicago should have an elected school board a sort of litmus test for incumbent aldermen and their challengers.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 4:12pm

CPS won't consider new charter proposals this year

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In a first in at least a decade, this year Chicago Public Schools will not approve any new charter or contract schools to open in the coming fall.

Not having the process for approval play out over the winter months will certainly be seen as a political decision. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is running for re-election, has come under fire for opening charter schools after closing 50 neighborhood schools last year. CTU President Karen Lewis is considering a run for mayor. 

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