Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: August 8 – August 14, 2020

CPS to Slash Spending on Officers in Schools By $18M

By Heather Cherone for WTTW News

“Amid a continuing outcry over the decision to allow Chicago police officers to patrol schools, Chicago Public Schools officials announced Monday they would slash spending on the program at the center of the debate over defunding the police department by more than half. The $18 million cut from the program’s budget will be used “to support the district’s investments in high-quality instruction,” according to a statement from the district announcing the release of the district’s budget for the 2020-21 school year.”

Vote Leaves Black Students Far More Likely To Have Police In School Than Other Teens

By Sarah Karp for WBEZ

“After weeks of voting by elected school councils on whether to keep police in schools, only about 19% of 72 Chicago public schools with officers will be removed, leaving the vast majority of school police officers in place after a summer of intense protests advocating for their removal. The Board of Education considered ending the school resource officer program in June, but the measure was narrowly defeated. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the schools chief and some board members said the decision should be left up to local councils, made up of parents, teachers and community members. Voting wrapped up Thursday, with no more votes scheduled. The school board plans to vote on a new, less expensive police contract on Aug. 26. But youth activists and legal experts say there’s a troubling aspect to leaving the decision up to local school councils. They are proud of the victories they scored at the 14 schools that rejected police. Yet only one of the schools is mostly Black — a North Side school in the Uptown neighborhood with about 130 students. All the other schools that spurned police officers are majority Latino or have a diverse student body. The result: The percentage of white and Latino students at schools with police officers will drop significantly in the coming school year. Now, about 49% of white students and 54% of Latino students at traditional city high schools will go to schools with police. Meanwhile, about 77% of Black students will continue to be at schools with police. (The school district’s SRO program does not include charter schools.) Last school year, about 85% of students — regardless of race — went to a school with police officers.”

Chicago Public Schools proposes $8.4 billon budget for 2021 as it copes with financial impact of COVID-19

By Hannah Leone for the Chicago Tribune

“Chicago Public Schools is proposing an $8.4 billion budget for the 2021 school year, according to budget documents released Monday. Despite the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, CPS expects revenues to increase this year, in large part because of “substantial levels of federal emergency relief funding to cover emergency expenses and offset previously anticipated revenue increases that will not materialize,” the district said.”

Sports complex, science labs and new high school highlight CPS’ proposed $8.4B budget

By Nader Issa for the Chicago Sun-Times

“A new $8.4 billion budget proposed Monday by Chicago Public Schools officials includes millions for renovated high school science labs, a new Near South Side high school and a South Side sports complex. The spending plan also devotes more money to improving school building access for the disabled and sets aside another $75 million for the district’s response to the coronavirus, with significant assumptions that more federal funding is on the way.”

Here’s how colleges across Chicago are preparing for the school year

By Milan Polk for The Chicago Tribune

“Large lecture halls, packed libraries and bustling dining halls won’t be the reality this year for local colleges. Instead, many facilities will be closed or reorganized to encourage social distancing. Schools such as DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago all have extensive pages dedicated to various aspects of campus life and how it will be different. For students who are still heading to campus, here’s a general breakdown of what you can expect.”