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Chicago Public Schools unveiled Monday a $5.7 billion operating budget proposal that includes laying off 1,491 employees (479 of which are teachers), raising property taxes by $19 million, and banking on $480 million in pension relief from state lawmakers. Chicago Tonight’s Brandis Friedman walks us through the proposal.

University also named 'top party school' by Princeton Review

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The University of Illinois was the focus of two front-page stories in Sunday's Chicago Tribune, concerning their ranking as the nation's No. 1 party school, a judge's decision last week to allow an academic freedom lawsuit against the university, and failure to turn over private emails about university business. We'll discuss those stories and Chancellor Phyllis Wise's resignation last Thursday with our panel.

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Karen Lewis

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said Friday that the Chicago Public Schools’ latest contract move could force teachers into another strike.

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Forrest Claypool

We discuss the CPS budget and other challenges facing the nation's third-largest school district with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s new leadership team: CPS CEO Forrest Claypool and chief education officer Janice Jackson. 

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The summer of 2015 has been rife with financial complications for Chicago Public Schools. The district has long been in a billion dollar budget hole, and school board members today voted to approve taking on just over a billion dollars in additional debt. Chicago Tonight's Brandis Friedman joins us Wednesday with details.

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ISU's STEP-UP program at work.

In preparation for becoming public school teachers, students at Illinois State University's College of Education are receiving a full immersion in Chicago this summer. It's called the Summer Teacher Education Partnership for Urban Preparation, or STEP-UP.

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Thursday that Forrest Claypool will be the new CEO of Chicago Public Schools. Claypool, Emanuel’s chief of staff, will replace Interim CEO Jesse Ruiz, who has been serving in that capacity since former CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett resigned in April. Claypool begins his new role on Monday, July 27.

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Jesse Ruiz

Interim schools chief Jesse Ruiz joins us to discuss the financial challenges facing the Chicago Public Schools. 

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Chicago Public Schools principals are finally getting a look at their budgets for the school year that starts in September. The district says, altogether, it is releasing $31 million less to schools this year, because of declining enrollment.

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Chicago Public Schools says it will issue budgets for schools on Monday. As reported by Chicago Tonight on Wednesday, many principals throughout CPS are growing increasingly frustrated that they are expected to plan for the new school year and finalize hiring decisions with little idea of how much money they will have to spend. It now appears principals will soon get some clarity.

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Chicago school principals are faced with the unenviable task of trying to plan for the new school year amid massive financial uncertainty. At a time when most would be hoping to finalize hiring decisions, they have no idea what their budget will be and how many teachers and other support staff they can afford. We learn what it's like to try and plan for the new school year with so many unknown factors.

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All of the schools in North Chicago have been in some state of academic failure for years. To address the unmet needs of the students and schools, a nonprofit was formed by a local family foundation. Brandis Friedman reports on the district’s transformation.

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At five CPS neighborhood high schools, students are earning college credit through a number of dual-credit courses. Those schools are also providing those students with a focused education on the science, technology, engineering, and math fields, or STEM for short. We take a look at how these schools work, how partnering with corporations like Microsoft and IBM helps, and why learning STEM benefits students who don't want to pursue science as a profession.

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Chicago Public Schools was able to make its $634 million pension payment on Tuesday after using borrowed funds and cutting 1,400 jobs. Paris Schutz has the latest on CPS’ funding crisis, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s long-term plan to address how school districts and teachers’ pensions are funded.

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Today was deadline day for a $634 million payment due to the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund, and this afternoon the payment was made. But school finances remain in a perilous state. We talk with the head of the pension fund, Charles Burbridge, on what happens next.

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Former Chicago Public Schools chiefs Paul Vallas and Terry Mazany will talk with us as part of a series of discussions we are having with education experts and elected officials on the colossal challenges facing Chicago Public Schools and what it means for students and parents.