Stories by Matt Masterson

Chicago Urban League, ISBE Reach Tentative Settlement in Yearslong Suit

Days after CPS filed a lawsuit against the state claiming discriminatory school funding, the Illinois State Board of Education announced it has reached a tentative settlement in a similar case after a yearslong legal battle with the Chicago Urban League.

Chicago Students Join in Day Without Immigrants Protest

Classrooms across the city were left half-empty Thursday as students took the day to join in citywide Day Without Immigrants protests.

State Lawmaker Renews Call for Elected Chicago School Board

State Rep. Rob Martwick, D-Chicago (Chicago Tonight)

Calls for an elected Board of Education in Chicago are nothing new, but a pair of current and former politicians are continuing their efforts to end mayoral control over the city's seven-member board.

CPS, Parents Claim Civil Rights Violations in New Suit Against State

CPS CEO Forrest Claypool (Chicago Tonight)

Chicago Public Schools and five local families announced Tuesday they have filed suit against the state of Illinois in an effort to force equitable funding for the cash-strapped school district.

Parents, Teachers Call on CPS to Take Budget Matters Into Its Own Hands

Chicago parents on Monday called for an end to the finger-pointing between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool, saying the sides need to find common ground to solve the district's ongoing financial issues.

Rauner Calls Trump Immigration Ban ‘Overly Broad,’ ‘Rash’

| Amanda Vinicky

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday criticized President Trump’s executive order and discussed ongoing issues with Chicago Public Schools and education funding during an interview on WBEZ.

Chicago Schools Using Books to Fight Bullying

(Great Books Foundation)

Nearly a quarter billion children experience bullying each year, according to a new report. But some schools across Chicago are using books and discussion to stem the tide of bullying.

Report: Chicago School-Based Officers Need More Training, Oversight

(Chicago Tonight)

One in 10 school resource officers stationed within Chicago Public Schools have had 10 or more misconduct complaints lodged against them, operating in a system with little oversight and no specialized training, a new study by the Shriver Center states.

DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary on Historic Pence Tiebreaker

(Courtesy of CNN)

Despite a shaky confirmation hearing and significant pushback from the public, Republican donor and school choice advocate Betsy DeVos has been confirmed as the new U.S. Secretary of Education.  

CPS Freezing up to $69M in School Spending to Help Fill Budget Gap

(Chicago Tonight)

Chicago Public Schools announced Monday it will implement new cost-saving measures as it works to fill its 2017 budget hole, this time freezing as much as $69 million in school discretionary funds.

CTU Members Take Protest to City Hall on First Furlough Day

(Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

More than 200 union members filled the fifth floor at City Hall, taking seats on the floor to grade papers, plan class assignments and hear “lessons” on school revenue, clinician services and the protection of immigrant students.

CTU Delegates Call on CPS Head Claypool to Step Down

(Chicago Tonight)

Chicago Teachers Union officials issued a vote of no confidence Wednesday night on Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool after claiming he has worked to “dismantle and sabotage” CPS.

Northwestern Study Links School Violence to Unemployment Rate

(Ishmael Daro / Flickr)

Researchers have discovered a “significant correlation” between decreases in economic opportunities and the number of school shootings reported across the country.

DeVos Approved by Senate Committee as Chicago Parents Protest

In a split decision Tuesday morning, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions voted to approve education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos.

Stevenson Students ‘Leading the Way’ in STEM Program

(Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

About 1,300 high school students completed Project Lead The Way’s college- and career-readiness credentialing program last year. More than 60 of those came from Stevenson High School – the highest total for any individual high school in the country.

CPS Announces February Public Hearings on Revised Budget

(Chicago Tonight)

Board President Frank Clark said Wednesday that CPS has worked out a way to fill a $215 million void left in its 2017 budget. But the district says no final decisions have been made.

School Funding Commission Debating Evidence-Based Model as Deadline Looms

A team of Illinois legislators has spent the past six months looking for some way to fix the state’s broken education funding model. But with only a week left before its final report is due, concerns have surfaced about how soon any changes will be made.

CPS Hoping New Site Will Streamline High School Application Process

On Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education will vote on a vendor contract between CPS and SchoolMint, a San Francisco-based tech company specializing in digital student enrollment and registration platforms.

CTU Post Claims Furlough Dates Could Violate Labor Contract

(Chicago Tonight)

The ink has barely dried on the labor contract between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union, but with a wave of upcoming furlough days announced, one side has made the claim that deal may have been violated already.

Noble Charters, CTU Take Steps to Protect Undocumented Students

Educators across Chicago have continued calls for undocumented students to be protected from deportation and discrimination leading up to President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration Friday.

Inside ‘The View From Room 205’: A Q&A with Reporter Linda Lutton

WBEZ reporter discusses the year she spent inside a fourth-grade classroom in North Lawndale

(Andrew Gill / WBEZ)

WBEZ reporter Linda Lutton spent the 2014-15 school year examining the impacts of poverty on a fourth-grade class in North Lawndale for a new story published this week. She spoke with Chicago Tonight to discuss that process.

Report: Illinois Schools Face 16,500 Teacher Absences Each Week

(Chicago Tonight)

Thousands of teachers miss class time within Illinois each week, and thanks to a shortage of substitute teachers, an average of 600 K-12 classrooms are left without an educator each school day, according to a new statewide study.

Trump’s Education Pick DeVos Set for Senate Confirmation Tuesday

Betsy DeVos (Keithalmli / Wikimedia Commons)

Like many of President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet selections, his education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos, a Michigan billionaire and GOP mega-donor, has been met with controversy.

CPS Employees Furloughed as District Works to Balance Budget

Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool announced Friday district employees will be furloughed on four days spread throughout the rest of this school year. (Chicago Tonight)

CPS teachers, staff and central office employees will not work four separate school days spread throughout the rest of the school year as the district continues looking for cost-cutting measures to balance its 2017 budget.

CPS Adds to List of Properties Up For Sale

(Chicago Tonight)

After working to sell and repurpose shuttered school buildings over the past three years, the district announced in a school action update Thursday it will be adding 10 more surplus properties to the list of those available for sale.