Stories by Matt Masterson

CTU Prepping Teachers for ‘Strong Possibility’ of Strike

| Paris Schutz
Email claims teachers union is "likely to strike" as it continues negotiating a new contract with Chicago Public Schools.

An email sent to Chicago teachers this week claims the union is “likely to strike” and advertises a strike training session this weekend.

CPS Seeking to Issue up to $945M in Bonds for Capital Improvements

CPS says it is looking to borrow $945 million for needed improvements to its classrooms and schools. (Public Building Commission of Chicago / Flickr)

The schools district and Chicago Board of Education have scheduled a public hearing downtown next week just before the board will vote on the bond proposal.

CPS Announces Record-High Attendance Rate

CPS students attended class last year at an average rate of 93.4 percent – a district record. (Argonne National Laboratory / Flickr)

The attendance rate at Chicago Public Schools has risen consistently since 2008 and now stands at its highest rate since at least 2003.

Officials Remind Families to Get Vaccines in Order Before New School Year

Throughout the month of August, the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health are encouraging parents and guardians statewide to get their children’s vaccinations up to date before the first day of class. (Jessica R. Vargas/Wikimedia Commons)

With less than a month before school is back in session across Illinois, parents and guardians are encouraged to get their children up to date on their immunizations soon or face a possible school suspension.

New Study Finds Teacher Pay Gap Larger Than Ever

The wage gap between teachers and other college grads has grown to a record 17 percent, a new study released this week has found. (Chicago 2016 / Flickr)

With a growing need for educators and a dwindling pool of qualified workers, teachers have seen their wages diverge significantly from their fellow college-educated professionals, according to a new report.

Budget Cuts Force Educator Layoffs in UNO Charter School Network

(Araceli Arroyo/Flickr)

The UNO Charter School Network laid off 29 union educators – including teachers, support staff and social workers – late last week as it worked to balance its 2016-17 budget and negotiate a new contract with its teachers union.

Chicago Landspout Marks City’s First Tornado in a Decade

A landspout can be seen off in the distance Tuesday just outside Midway Airport. The brief tornado was Chicago's first since 2006. (Courtesy of Melanie Harnacke)

Tornadoes had kept away from Chicago since 2006, but a brief landspout brought an end to that streak Tuesday afternoon.

New State Bill Seeking to Cut Remediation in Higher Education

The Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act will create annual benchmarks to ensure high schoolers are prepared for a college education. (Steven Sokulski/Pixabay)

State lawmakers hope newly passed legislation will help better prepare Illinois high schoolers for the rigors of a college education.

CPS to Cut More Than 1,000 Teaching, Support Staff Positions

Students at Senn High School could see larger class sizes after CPS cut hundreds of educators and school personnel across the district Friday.

Declining enrollment and vacancies at other schools cited as Chicago Public Schools announces layoffs for hundreds of educators

CPS Students Who Pass IB Exams Can Now Earn College Credit

Students at Chicago's Bogan High School and dozens of other CPS schools can now receive college credits at any Illinois university or college for passing their IB exams.

A new bill passed late last month aims to cut higher education costs and allow Chicago Public Schools students to begin earning college credits sooner.

Reform Commission Takes 1st Look at New School Funding Model

Illinois Education Secretary Beth Purvis, center, serves as chairperson for the state's newly formed School Funding Reform Commission. (Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

Illinois may become the ninth state since 2000 to adopt a new education funding system, and state leaders are hoping a new reform commission can figure out how its current formula can be fixed.

STEM Competition Aims to Inspire Teen Girls

The annual Icebox Derby encourages teen girls to pursue careers in STEM through a unique, hands-on experience. (Courtesy of ComEd)

Dozens of teenage girls from the Chicago area are getting a unique, hands-on STEM experience as they transform recycled refrigerators into solar-powered race cars in the ComED Icebox Derby.