The new face of voc-ed

Twenty years ago, Paul Vallas began what became a trend: to favor preparation for college over preparation for a job. For example, he scheduled career training courses outside regular school hours. Today’s voc-ed reform efforts center on connecting academics and career training.

City gives a little in TIF battle

Last month, City Hall gave a few inches of ground in the battle over using TIF funds to plug the Chicago Public Schools’ budget hole. Though there’s a long history of TIF funds coming back to CPS for school construction, it could take major governance change to see more TIF money return to the district.

School libraries a longstanding target for cuts

In Chicago, when school budgets tighten, school libraries typically take a hit. Under school-based budgeting, new mandates for gym and art draw on the same pot of money, putting an even greater squeeze on libraries. Read more about school libraries in this Catalyst Then, Now, Next Almanac post.