Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: March 6th – March 12th, 2021

CPS Offers All Students In-Person Learning Option For Last Quarter

By Sarah Karp for WBEZ

“This weekend, Chicago Public Schools emailed all CPS parents, including those of high school students, to give them the official option of moving their kids to in-person instruction or staying remote for the fourth academic quarter. Reset checks in with a WBEZ education reporter to give us the latest around the district’s plans.”


CPS middle school students return to classrooms: ‘It never gets old seeing kids come back to school’

By Stefano Esposito for The Chicago Sun-Times

“Chicago Public Schools reached a milestone of sorts Monday, with all elementary school grades open districtwide for in-person learning — a first since the pandemic shuttered schools statewide a year ago. The district welcomed back an expected 18,500 sixth through eighth grade students Monday, even though most parents continued to keep their kids at home in remote learning. “It never gets old seeing kids come back to school — some of them excited, some of them not so excited about it. But at the end of the day, we know it’s the best place for them,” said Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson, speaking to reporters outside Richardson Middle School in West Lawn Monday morning.”


All CPS staff should receive vaccine shot by the end of March, schools chief says

By Nader Issa for The Chicago Sun-Times

“With about half of teachers and staff offered a vaccine so far, Chicago Public Schools is in “a really good position” to achieve President Joe Biden’s goal of giving at least one dose to every school worker by the end of March, schools chief Janice Jackson said Thursday. More than 19,000 CPS employees have had an opportunity for a COVID-19 shot through either partnerships between the district and health care providers or the four CPS-run vaccination site across the city. Potentially thousands more have had access through appointments with private health care providers or pharmacies they sought out on their own. Jackson said it’s “amazing” that about half the district has been offered a vaccine, and she has “no doubt that we’re going to be able to meet” the end-of-the-month goal with new supply coming in.”


Illinois schools could receive $5.2 billion — with $1.8 billion for Chicago — in latest federal stimulus effort

By Samantha Smylie, Cassie Walker Burke & Matt Barnum for Chalkbeat Chicago

“Illinois is expected to receive $5.2 billion for schools in the third round of emergency federal funding, bringing its total haul of COVID-19 stimulus funding to more than $8 billion since last spring. That amount of new funding would be welcome news for Illinois schools, which are trying to reopen and recover from a year of disruption but saw their budgets kept flat by the state this year. Congress approved a $1.9 trillion stimulus package Wednesday that will provide $128.6 billion in funding to K-12 education. President Biden, who proposed and championed the legislation, has promised to quickly sign it into law. The package is likely the biggest single federal outlay on K-12 education in U.S. history.”


Pritzker signs ‘inclusive’ education equity bill into law, allowing state to ‘make history’ — and teach it better

By Rachel Hinton for The Chicago Sun-Times

“The governor said the bill “really does raise up our children everywhere in the state and advances equity in a way that we can all be proud.” The omnibus legislation, passed during the General Assembly’s lame duck session in January, addresses early childhood, primary, secondary and higher education. Dubbed the Education and Workforce Equity Act, it includes expanding access to the state’s early intervention program; adds some graduation requirements in computer literacy, a foreign language or laboratory science; expands the required Black history coursework to include the pre-enslavement of Black people and establishes a 22-person Inclusive American History Commission.”