Category Archives: Chicago

Without a Passed Bill This Week, Chicago Must Announce School Closings by Saturday

No matter where you live in Illinois, your legislators will hear from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel this week. Emanuel’s Chicago Public Schools desperately wants a change in state law so it will have until March to decide which of up to 120 schools it will close as it struggles to balance its budget. If lawmakers don’t pass a bill this week, the district will have to announce all closure plans by Saturday

Illinois Close to Losing “Gambling Boarder War”

Gambling expansion supporters want lawmakers to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of a bill that would bring new casinos to five Illinois cities, including Chicago and Rockford. Proponents say it will bring 20,000 jobs to Illinois. The Rockford Register Star wants the veto: “If legislation doesn’t pass soon, Illinois will lose the gambling border war as plans for a megacomplex in Beloit, Wis., move forward.”

On the Dockett for the Lame Duck Sessions? Casinos, for one.

Illinois lawmakers over the coming 10 days could cast votes to bring a long-awaited (and much coveted) casino to Chicago, among many other issues, as they begin their lame duck session. For 35 members of the General Assembly whose terms will end Jan. 9, this is a chance to cast controversial votes – like reforming the state’s public pension system – without worry of facing the wrath of voters. Not an especially courageous or efficient way to operate.

For Joe Berrios, Illinois Government is a Family Business

Government is a family business for Joe Berrios, the Cook County Assessor and chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. Thirteen members of the Berrios family have government jobs, the Sun-Times reported Sunday. Berrios has ignored fines from the Cook County Ethics Board and calls that he remove family members from county employment.


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Disability Pays… Unless the Sun Times Catches You

Convicted of a felony, a Chicago firefighter filed an injury claim that blocked his firing and now pays him  $38,619 a year in tax-free disability pay. The title of the Chicago Sun-Times series in which this was revealed says it all: “Disability Pays.” For some public employees, disability claims have become sources of easy, long-term pay as they move on to new careers. And taxpayers foot the bill.

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Check How Your School Did on the Illinois School Report Card

How did your kids’ schools score on the most recent Illinois School Report Card? Search for results at the Illinois Interactive Report Card site.

Chicago Papers to Voters: Don’t Be Chumps

The Chicago Tribune editorial board  says anyone who votes for the pension amendment on the Nov. 6 ballot is a chump. “Don’t be a chump,” says the Trib. It adds that what we really need is a constitutional amendment that gives lawmakers some guidelines for what can and can’t be done to fix the pension disaster Illinois faces. Rival The Chicago Sun-Times agrees: “Voters should say no to the constitutional amendment and send the message that Illinois residents want real pension reform, not potentially harmful window dressing.”


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Brizard’s Departure Resonates Beyond Chicago Politics

The departure of Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard is a story that resonates well beyond the Chicago city limits. It’s another chapter in the ongoing story of implementing new state education reforms.

Brizard Out as Chicago Public School CEO

Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, one of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s top hires, resigned Thursday after 17 months on the job. He was the school system’s fourth CEO in four years and leaves in the wake of a seven-day teachers’ strike during which Brizard largely was absent.


Charter Schools on the Rise In Chicago. What happens to the Shrinking Publics?

Chicago appears poised for a big increase in charter schools as it decides what to do with around 100 schools whose shrinking enrollment makes them targets for possible closure.

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