Amid controversy and an outcry from parents and principals regarding budget cuts to special education and layoffs for teachers and aides, CPS announces plans to change the way the district serves students with special needs. Tonight, find out how the district plans to change its focus.
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Stories by Brandis Friedman
The plastic bag ordinance that took effect Aug. 1 may not be having the impact that was intended, as retailers begin to offer thicker plastic bags in place of the older, thinner ones. Environmentalists say that alternatives exist, while retailers insist their customers prefer plastic. However, there may be a way to reduce plastic bag use that both environmentalists and retailers can agree on. Brandis Friedman has the story.
Block 37 has a new attraction, but you'd better stop for lunch before you go. The Foodseum celebrates the city's love of all things edible with an exhibit that highlights hot dogs and encased meats from around the globe. We visited the pop-up museum to learn more.
Mayor: ‘We have to right our financial ship’
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday unveiled his proposed 2016 budget. Included is a $543 million property tax increase that would be phased in, beginning with a $318 million hike this year. Fees on garbage collection and ride-sharing services – including taxis – and a new tax on e-cigarettes aim to plug the city's budget hole.
Parents and teachers will get their first glimpse at test results from the controversial PARCC standardized test students took last spring, but the jury is still out on whether those results are useful. Brandis Friedman has the story.
Hundreds of thousands of Chicago Public Schools students return to the classroom amid massive financial woes for the district: an expired teacher contract and a $480 million budget hole. On Chicago Tonight, we'll hear from students and principals at some schools experiencing the deepest cuts, and from CPS administrators visiting schools on their first day.
The far north suburban community of Fox Lake is still grieving as dozens of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers search for three suspects who allegedly shot and killed Fox Lake police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz early Tuesday morning. Brandis Friedman visited Fox Lake on Wednesday and she joins us with the latest.
For three hundred South and West Side Chicagoans, a summer job meant more than just a few extra bucks – it may have also meant a safer community. A pilot program called Target 7-11 H.I.T. paid neighbors in Englewood and the west side of Garfield Park to work as violence interrupters, during what is a notoriously deadly time of year for those communities. Brandis Friedman explains how it works.
The fight to reopen a South Side high school has caused 12 parents and activists to go on a hunger strike to get Chicago Public Schools to hear their concerns. We look at the history of the closure and what the new proposals are.
The Chicago Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously today to pass a much-criticized $5.6 billion budget that includes almost $480 million from the state, $1 billion dollars in borrowing, and what teachers and parents are calling massive cuts to special education. Brandis Friedman joins us tonight with the latest from downtown.
The death of the 14-year-old Chicago boy, brutally murdered in Mississippi in 1955, became far more than just another lynching during the Jim Crow era. His mother's decision to display the mutilated body of Emmett Till during his funeral altered the course of history by invigorating a movement. Till's family remembers his life and his death, and compares his story to those we hear today.
Glass blowing is an expensive art, and not a typical means of managing trauma from gun violence. But a University of Chicago pediatric clinical psychologist has teamed up with a local glassblowing non-profit to help teenaged survivors of gun violence mentally recover from their traumatic experiences. Brandis Friedman has the story.
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.
There are new rules this summer surrounding child care for low-income families in Illinois. Child care advocates say that the changes–which they argue are not connected to the state budget impasse in Springfield–will eliminate 90 percent of new program applicants from eligibility.
Fifty years ago, a number of white suburban residents started a fair-housing movement called the North Shore Summer Project, and their work caught the attention of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Chicago Tonight’s Brandis Friedman takes a closer look at the movement – then and now – to diversify the area.
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.
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.
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.
The City of Chicago will have to wait two more weeks before a judge's ruling on whether pension legislation supported by Mayor Rahm Emanuel is constitutional. Lawyers representing city workers, as well as the city and the employee pension funds made their cases to Cook County Circuit Court Judge Rita Novak Thursday morning. Novak said she will issue a ruling on Friday, July 24.
Several mothers of young men killed by gun violence in Chicago are named as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against three suburban Chicago communities: Lyons, Riverdale, and Lincolnwood. Attorneys who filed the suit Tuesday morning explain that those towns have lax or insufficient methods of licensing and regulating their gun dealers, and are therefore disproportionately impacting poor and minority communities in Chicago.
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.
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.
Ballerina Misty Copeland became the first African-American female principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre on Tuesday. In October, Copeland visited Chicago Tonight to talk about her recently published memoir, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina. We revisit her conversation with Brandis Friedman.
In light of a recent report by Ernst & Young regarding the school district's dire finances, the hotly debated issue is expected to be front and center at the last board meeting of the fiscal year. This meeting falls the day after state legislators in Springfield failed to pass a measure allowing the district to delay a substantial payment to the teacher pension fund.
When CPS shuttered 50 elementary schools a couple of years ago, the district promised those neighborhood schools would not be replaced by charter schools. But, as the city's 130 charter schools continue to open and expand, some are having difficulty finding the right real estate for their schools. We take a look at one charter school struggling to find a permanent home.