Stories by Brandis Friedman

Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates Plans for 2nd Strike Vote

The rank-and-file members of the Chicago Teachers Union have already approved a strike, but the union is planning a second vote. Find out why.

CPS School Year Starts Again Without Teachers Contract

For the second year in a row, Chicago Public Schools begins the school year without a teachers contract. Can a deal be struck soon?

Violence-Prevention Program Starts in Hospitals Instead of Streets

Helping patients recover from gunshot wounds is just one part of a new violence-prevention program at Stroger Hospital. A look at how workers are going above and beyond the bedside.

New ‘Bizarre’ Gang Surfaces in Cook County Jail

A new gang has surfaced at the Cook County Jail that even the sheriff refers to as “bizarre.” Tom Dart credits members of the gang, called Savage Life, with a hostage incident that occurred at the jail late last month.

Budget Watchdog Group Rejects ‘Optimistic’ $5.4B CPS Proposal

Laurence Msall of the Civic Federation

The day before Chicago Public Schools board members are set to vote on the district’s budget for fiscal year 2017, some analysts are expressing concerns.

CPS Releases Budget for Coming School Year, Counts on CTU Contract

Now that Chicago Public Schools has released its budget plans for the coming year, can the district and the Chicago Teachers Union finally nail down a contract agreement?

Remembering the 1st Step of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1,000-Mile March

Permanent Memorial to King Erected in Marquette Park

Once a neighborhood unwelcoming to families of color, Marquette Park is not only a more diverse community today, but one that's now home to a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial.

Obama Foundation Makes It Official: Jackson Park for Obama Library

Mayor Rahm Emanuel: “I want to make sure the entire city of Chicago, specifically the South Side of Chicago, benefits from a once-in-a-lifetime cultural and educational investment.”

The secret got out last week, but the Obama Foundation made it official at a news conference on Wednesday: Jackson Park will be the main home of the 44th U.S. president's library.

FOP President Dean Angelo on Shooting of Paul O’Neal, Labor Day Weekend Staffing

Dean Angelo

In a phone call late Monday afternoon, Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo spoke about the recent police-involved shooting of Paul O’Neal and the union’s call for police officers to reject Labor Day weekend overtime.

Frustrated Top Cop Calls for Tougher Gun Laws

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson at a press conference Monday.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson says his department has so far made 1,900 gun arrests in 2016, a 7-percent increase over the first seven months of 2015.

Parents, Aldermen Call for New Revenue for Schools

The group Parents 4 Teachers hopes that a package of ordinances introduced Wednesday in City Council will increase funding to CPS. (Parents 4 Teachers)

During a City Council meeting on Wednesday, a handful of aldermen introduced a package of ordinances that the group Parents 4 Teachers hopes will increase funding to CPS and spare further budget cuts.

CPS Faces Steady Enrollment Decline, Not All Principals Happy With Budgets

(Brandis Friedman)

Though the district’s student-based budgeting rate remains at the lowered amount set in February, a declining enrollment means a shrinking budget for schools.

CPS Principals Finally Get Draft Budgets for School Year

Though the school year has been rife with fiscal crisis, Chicago Public Schools’ principals now know that the cuts to their school budgets will not be as deep as threatened in recent months.

New Commission Forms to Solve Old Problem: Education Funding

It's not the first education funding reform committee in Illinois, but the governor says he’s hoping this one will be the one to get the job done.

Protests Continue in Wake of Police Shootings Around US

Over the weekend, Chicago police arrested 21 protesters on charges ranging from obstructing traffic and resisting arrest to aggravated battery of a peace officer. Demonstrators say more protests are planned for the week ahead.

South Side Bank a Bright Spot as Black-Owned Businesses Face Decline

Words of optimism from the new owners of a black-owned South Side bank that had been in financial trouble. Why they say keeping such businesses alive is crucial.

Witness Cooperation in Murder Cases a Chronic Problem in Chicago

It's a chronic problem in Chicago: unsolved murder cases. A look at one case, gone three-years cold.

CPD: Fear of Retaliation Drives Community Code of Silence

Unsolved murder cases like that of Marissa Boyd-Stingley are a chronic problem in Chicago. Why are some witnesses unwilling to share information with police? We asked CPD's Chief of Detectives Gene Roy to weigh in.

CTU, CPS Spar Over Funding, Labor Practice Charge

The dreary weather Wednesday morning didn't keep scores of Chicago Teachers Union members from taking to the streets and calling on the city and the school district to enact measures to stabilize the district's funding.

CPS School Year Ends Under Clouds of Financial Crisis

The first full day of summer also marks the last day of the school year for Chicago Public School students. How stormy will their summers be as the district tries to weather its financial crisis?

Retaining Principals a Chronic Challenge for CPS

Former CPS Principal Kathy Konopasek said her early retirement was a choice to "leave management."

It may not be quite an "exodus" of CPS principals, but more of them are leaving. Why the district is concerned it could get worse.

CPS Finds 14 Schools with High Lead in Water Samples

Parents of students at more than a dozen Chicago schools are receiving notices that testing has found elevated levels of lead in water at their children’s schools.

Reports Show Educational Gains for CPS, Despite Financial Troubles

(jeco / Flickr)

Despite darkening storm clouds that have been looming over Chicago Public Schools’ finances, two reports released this week show some rays of sunshine for student academics.

Making Music Together: A Look at Diversity in Orchestras

The Grant Park Music Festival opens in one week, making classical music accessible to anyone who's interested. But the makeup of orchestras across the country doesn't always reflect the makeup of surrounding communities.

Chicago Teachers Union Wades Into Funding Debate

The day after Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool warned that schools may not open in September, the Chicago Teachers Union weighed in, calling Claypool's leadership a failure. We hear arguments from both sides.