Public hearings on CPS budget, facility use; chasing turnaround money

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Two state lawmakers, State Rep. Cynthia Soto and Sen. Heather Steans, are urging taxpayers to attend public hearings on the Chicago Public Schools’ decisions on facility use.

Two state lawmakers, State Rep. Cynthia Soto and Sen. Heather Steans, are urging taxpayers to attend public hearings on the Chicago Public Schools’ decisions on facility use. Soto and Steans, both Democrats, will conduct three public hearings Aug. 31, Sept. 25 and Sept. 28 to take testimony from parents and others  about how CPS makes decisions about closing or opening school buildings and other facilities. (Chicago Tribune)

Chicago parents are voicing their concerns at public hearings this week on Chicago Public Schools’ $6.4 billion budget plan. (WBEZ)

In the state

Oak Park Elementary School District 97 gets technology upgrades, and every teacher will get a new laptop. (Trib Local)

Steven Isoye, new superintendent of Oak Park-River Forest High School District 200, says he’s ready to tackle achievement gap — the differences in overall standardized test scores and academic achievement between white and minority students attending the school. (Oak Leaves)

Multi-grade classrooms, meant to save money, will debut when Plainfield District 202 elementary schools open next week. (Trib Local)

Twenty-four teachers who received layoff notices from Maine Township High School District 207 in the spring will return when the new school year begins on Monday. (ParkRidge Herald-Advocate)

A group of parents offering to give $4.3 million to Cary Elementary District 26 in exchange for the district hiring back 68 laid-off teachers and reinstating programs axed as part of budget cuts last year has filed as a nonprofit organization with the Illinois Secretary of State. (Daily Herald)

In the nation

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue says he will appoint a special investigator with subpoena powers to get to the bottom of an alleged cheating scandal that has rocked Atlanta Public Schools. A report compiled by a commission appointed to study suspicious erasures on standardized tests at city schools has recommended possible sanctions against 109 educators. (Atlantic Journal-Constitution)

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said parents have a right to know how teachers are rated on employee evaluations, but she strongly disagreed with The Los Angeles Times’ decision to publish data showing how individual teachers may have influenced the standardized test scores of students. (Los Angeles Times)

Congress to hold hearings on companies chasing the $3.5 billion in Title I School Improvement Grants that target the bottom 5 percent of U.S. schools. (Education Week)

Seattle parents and community members offered testimony over how best to evaluate the city’s public school teachers, but the decision will be decided in closed-door, contract negotiations between the school district and the teachers union. (Seattle Times)