Stories by Matt Masterson

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.

CPS Watchdog Announces New Data Analysis Team

(Chicago Tonight)

Chicago Public Schools’ Office of the Inspector General is expanding its investigatory reach this month, adding a pair of data analysis and research experts to its team of district watchdogs. 

Chicago High School Employee Killed in Weekend Shooting

(Jason Goodfriend Facebook)

A Chicago Police Department official confirmed detectives are investigating the shooting death of Jason Goodfriend, 31, who was the business and finance manager at Chicago Tech Academy.

CPS Parent Calls Out Teachers Union Over ‘Library Lockout’

(Woomiusee / Wikimedia Commons)

A Wicker Park elementary parent called out the Chicago Teachers Union in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, claiming the union stopped parents who volunteered to staff their children’s school library after its librarian was laid off.

Chicago Education Program Founders Included in Forbes ‘30 Under 30’

(Courtesy of pilotED)

The brains behind a local nonprofit offering after-school help to Chicago students were included this week on a list highlighting the work of some of the rising young entrepreneurs across the country.

Illinois Scores a C-Plus for K-12 Education in New National Report

Illinois finished 15th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in Education Week's Quality Counts report, earning a score of 77 out of 100.

Education Issues to Watch in 2017

(Chicago Tonight)

A $215 million hole in Chicago Public Schools' budget and a sentencing date for its former CEO headline local education issues to follow in the coming year.

2017 Kicks Off Years of Free Entry to Art Institute for Chicago Teens

(Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago)

Beginning Monday, city residents under the age of 18 will no longer be required to pay the $14 admission fee at the museum in Grant Park thanks to a gift from a pair of Kansas donors.

Chicago Documentary Filmmaker Killed in Ugandan Bus Crash

(Betty Shabazz International Charter School)

David J. Steiner died Monday while travelling through a small Ugandan village. He was there to screen his film “Saving Barbara Sizemore,” a documentary made with Englewood teens about their fight to keep their charter school open.

New U of C Website Compiles Best of 2016 Education Research

(Chicago Tonight)

The University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute wants to show school and policy leaders how evidence-based research can help improve schools and student achievement.