CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools chief executive officer Janice Jackson announced plans Tuesday for a series of investments in city schools intended to better meet student needs.
Lightfoot and Jackson met with teachers, principals, parents, and community leaders to develop the plan, which involves reexamining school funding, expanding staffing, and bringing in stronger career and technical education programming, according to a news release.
“Chicago’s students are making continued progress, thanks to the unwavering commitment by teachers and school leaders all throughout the city,” Mayor Lightfoot was quoted in the release. “Over the past weeks, we’ve met with educators and community members from across the city to learn about how we can address the needs facing our school communities and better meet students where they are. The improvements we are making are a direct result of those conversations and will better support schools across the city in providing a safe, healthy and inclusive experience for all of our children.”
The commitments agreed to by Lightfoot and Jackson include a review of the school funding formulas and allocations of resources, with an eye toward funding schools across the district more equitably, the release said.
The staffing expansions are to include an increased number of nurses, special education case managers, and social workers in the city’s highest-need schools over a period of several years, the release said.
Also included in the commitments is a plan for all career and technical education students to receive some kind of career exposure experience during their time in school by 2023. These might include a job shadow, a mock interview, or a career site visit, the release said.
CPS also plans to expand employer partnerships such that half of all eligible career and technical education students are matched with experience such as an internship or apprenticeship by 2023, the release said.
“CPS schools have never been stronger, but to continue our exceptional progress we must increase our investment in the resources our students need most and ensure equity is our north star,” Jackson said in the release. “The commitments announced today will help ensure our schools reach new heights and guarantee that every child in Chicago receives a high-quality education that meets their unique needs.”