Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: June 4 – June 10, 2022

Chicago Public Schools plans to spend nearly $10 billion next school year

By Tracy Swartz for The Chicago Tribune

“Chicago Public Schools on Tuesday released its proposed $9.5 billion budget for the next school year, a spending plan that’s $200 million more than this year even though the district continues to experience enrollment declines. The projected budget, which awaits approval from the Chicago Board of Education at its June 22 meeting, is bolstered by $730 million in federal coronavirus relief money. The district said Tuesday it has spent nearly 45% of the $2.8 billion allocated for pandemic recovery — funds that are set to expire in fall 2024.”


As summer break approaches, Chicago will pause school-based COVID testing Friday

By Mauricio Pena for Chicago Chalkbeat

“Chicago Public Schools is pausing its COVID-19 testing program on June 10 — a few days before the district wraps up classes on June 14, according to Dr. Allison Arwady, the city’s health commissioner. The news comes as the city’s COVID transmission rate remains high, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rating system. Amid the surge in cases, health and district officials continue to urge people to wear masking indoors. Last month, one school and 21 other classrooms temporarily reinstated mask mandates in the face of several COVID-19 cases.”


A few CPS schools are raising big money through fundraising. None are in the neediest neighborhoods.

By Sarah Karp, Natalie Y. Moore for The Sun-Times

“On a hot Friday afternoon, students at Lenart Elementary Regional Gifted Center dance with zest in the parking lot as a DJ plays music. They are excited to get out of their public school classrooms for a walkathon, a fundraiser for the school in West Chatham on the South Side. Three times around the school equals a mile, and for each mile students earn money for their school. So far, the kindergarten class is in the lead, pulling in $1,000 in the last hour. “We are up to $17,000, which is more than we did last year,” says Theisha Perkins-Obafemi, parent of bubbly second grader Grace. The event is meant to be fun, but it’s also critical for the school. Chicago public schools like Lenart don’t get by on taxpayer money alone. All CPS schools get a set amount per student to run their buildings, with schools serving mostly low-income students getting extra — but it’s not enough. The state says CPS only has 68% of what it needs in state and local dollars to properly fund its schools. To make up the difference schools are increasingly turning to private money. But they don’t all have the same fundraising might. The majority of outside money is collected and spent by a small number of schools where less than half the students are low-income, WBEZ found in an analysis of private fundraising expenditures at district-run schools.”