Chicago Public Schools

Tristian Ellis’ test scores in reading and math dropped dramatically this fall from last. The difference: the Ellis family had its own apartment last year. Now, the family of four stays in a shelter on Chicago’s far north side.

For the 8-year-old student, who attends LEARN Excel Charter on the city’s northwest side, distractions abound. His mother, Latoya Ellis, lost her job in August and moved into the shelter a month later. She describes being homeless as “a very devastating experience,’’ which is particularly hard on Tristian, her youngest child.

There's still a half a billion dollar hole in the Chicago public schools budget. It could mean thousands of layoffs in the middle of the school year.

A top Chicago Democrat says there is a solution, but some of the people standing in the way are the very people he wants to help.

Chicago Public Schools has had round after round of layoffs in the past couple years. Thousands of employees are gone and district officials say we're in the midst of even more financial pressure.


Chicago Public Schools’ financial future is in question after making a massive into its pension system.

The financially struggling school system paid a $634 million lump sum into its retirement fund. The district was hoping for a reprieve, but the House of Representatives -- led by Democrat Speaker Michael Madigan -- rejected CPS’s request.

The interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools says about 1,400 jobs will be affected after the district had to borrow money to make a $634 million pension payment.

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Chicago Public Schools’ struggling finances appear to be caught in the ongoing dispute between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and top Democrats.

There seemed to be a deal. Several Republicans voted yes - to let Chicago Public Schools delay paying $634 million in pension money due next week.

But many suburban Democrats in potentially competitive election districts voted no and defeated the bill.

Governor Rauner’s office says Democrats voted against the bill because House Speaker Michael Madigan instructed them to.

Center on Innovation and Improvement /

Former Chicago schools CEO Paul Vallas is Governor Pat Quinn's choice for Lieutenant Governor.