• Beyond 95th Street

    The proposed extension of the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line from 95th Street to 130th Street is among the most costly and potentially transformative public infrastructure projects the South Side has seen in decades. At an estimated cost of $2.3 billion and affecting 128,000 people, transportation experts say, if done with the community in mind, it could bring thousands of jobs and economic opportunity to the area.

  • Empty schools, empty promises

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to close 50 public schools in 2013 ignited a firestorm among parents, educators and community groups. Now, four years later, most of the schools are still empty. This series explores the aftermath of the mass closures on the South and West sides of Chicago.

  • The digital divide

    District leaders want schools to integrate more personalized learning technology in the classroom. But many schools lack up-to-date computers, fast internet access and quality teacher training, compounding the tech disparities students face at home. Download a PDF of the Spring/Summer 2016 issue.

  • Settling for misconduct

    Settling for Misconduct, an interactive database created by The Chicago Reporter, tracks how much the city spends to settle civil rights lawsuits against Chicago police officers and which officers cost the city the most. Chicago has paid more than half a billion dollars since 2005 to settle lawsuits against police officers — money the city cannot afford. Rather than rein in the practices that lead to police misconduct settlements, city officials borrowed tens of millions of dollars a year to pay for these lawsuits, adding to the city’s mounting debt. Over time, the interest on the bonds more than doubles the cost taxpayers bear for police misconduct.

    Explore the database>>

  • The rise of Noble

    Begun as a mom-and-pop shop in 1999, the Noble Network of Charter Schools has grown into the largest and arguably most successful charter school network in the city. Its expansion has come with growing pains and increased scrutiny of some of its key policies, including discipline and testing. Download a PDF of the Winter 2016 issue.

  • 25th Anniversary Issue

    Catalyst founder Linda Lenz began covering Chicago schools in 1978 as a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. She left in 1989 to create this issues-oriented publication. Here she puts key developments in perspective and talks about what’s changed in the past 25 years. Download the Fall 2015 issue in PDF.

  • Sports and Fundraising

    Sports are integral to the typical high school experience, but many schools have to scrape together money to field teams. It’s all part of the race to raise private dollars to provide a well-rounded education. Download the Spring 2015 issue in PDF.