Bureau Chief, Chalkbeat Chicago
Becky Vevea is the Bureau Chief for Chalkbeat Chicago. Before coming to Chalkbeat, she spent a decade at WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR News Station, reporting on city politics and schools, as well as filling in as anchor and host. Becky is an award-winning journalist whose work has also appeared in The New York Times, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and USA Today. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication and a native of rural central Wisconsin. She currently lives in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood with her husband and two young sons.
Illinois legislature approved a measure giving themselves more time to draw Chicago’s school board districts. Once signed by the governor, the deadline will move from July 1, 2023 to April 1, 2024 — seven months before the first elections on November 5, 2024.
Illinois lawmakers revised draft map for Chicago’s soon-to-be elected school board, but advocates rejected the tweaks at the latest public hearing
Districts for the soon-to-be-elected Chicago Board of Education must be drawn by July 1, but lawmakers could finalize a map in the coming days. Those who spoke at the latest public hearing rejected the current proposal, saying it is rushed and does not represent public school families, which are mostly Latino.
Who will Chicago’s elected school board represent? Lawmakers release a new draft map ahead of possible vote.
Lawmakers are scheduled to discuss and potentially vote on the draft at 5 p.m. Thursday. They have until July 1 to solidify the electoral districts for Chicago’s soon-to-be-elected school board.
A decade after leaving the classroom to help the Chicago Teachers Union build political power and improve conditions outside schools, Brandon Johnson has been sworn in as the city’s 57th mayor.
Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson names teachers union chief of staff Jennifer “Jen” Johnson as deputy mayor of education
As Chicago’s next deputy mayor of education, Jen Johnson will oversee policy related to the city’s public schools, youth, and families. Historically, the deputy mayor of education also represents the mayor in contract talks with the teachers union.
The proposal divides the city into 20 districts, seven majority white, seven majority Black, and six majority Latino. It’s based on the city’s population, which is 33% white, not the school district’s, which is 46.5% Latino and 36% Black.
Chicago’s school board will be elected for the first time ever in 2024. Here’s what you need to know.
The board will go from seven members appointed by the mayor to 10 elected and 11 appointed. By 2027, a full-elected 21-member school board will be in place.
Leaders with the nationally-recognized charter school network said Wednesday they filed a lawsuit to keep control of its remaining two campuses serving Black boys in Englewood and Bronzeville. Chicago Public Schools has said it plans to keep the schools open under district management.
Chicago shut down 50 schools in one year with the promise of providing students better educational opportunities. A decade later, we want to hear from those impacted by that decision.
Four-year-olds will get priority, but officials say more than 30,000 spots are available across Chicago Public Schools and community-based early childhood providers. Families are encouraged to apply before May 2 to get an offer by May 19.
The election of a teachers union organizer over a former district chief in Chicago is a win for local progressives. It could also be a bellwether for public education policy in the historically Democratic city and beyond.
Chalkbeat Chicago sat down with Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson for a brief interview. He talked about being the last mayor with control of Chicago Public Schools, what he told his kids about his new job, and what it means to be a public school parent.
Johnson won with 51.4% of the vote, according to preliminary election results. He will be the last mayor with control of Chicago Public Schools.
Brandon Johnson’s biggest donors are teachers unions. Paul Vallas is raking in cash from wealthy individuals — some of whom have supported charter schools and other education reform efforts in Chicago.
A new mayor will face a school system with declining enrollment, a fiscal cliff, another round of labor negotiations, and the transition to an elected school board.
City residents ages 14 to 24 are eligible to apply for the six-week jobs program. New numbers show participation rates have yet to bounce back from a pandemic decline.
Chalkbeat breaks down Paul Vallas’ and Brandon Johnson’s positions on education issues.
State lawmakers must draw districts for Chicago’s elected school board by July 1, 2023 ahead of the November 2024 election. They’re accepting ideas for how to divide up the city through a new online portal.
Supporters of the former Chicago schools chief Paul Vallas interrupted a press conference held by Brandon Johnson backers aimed at denouncing Vallas’ schools record ahead of the heated mayoral runoff election.
Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas are in a runoff to be Chicago’s next mayor. Here’s how they answered 10 important education questions.
The top two candidates to be Chicago’s next mayor are headed to a runoff election. Both have deep experience in public education, but differ on many key challenges facing the school district. Here’s how they answered a Chalkbeat questionnaire.
With nearly all precincts reporting, former Chicago schools CEO Paul Vallas and teachers union organizer Brandon Johnson are headed to a runoff to be Chicago’s next mayor on April 4.
Lori Lightfoot could be the last Chicago mayor with control of the city’s public schools. How has she done so far?
Lightfoot struggled with labor relations and pandemic school closures, changed her views on an elected school board, and plowed more city money into school building repairs during her first term.
Mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson calls for free transit rides for students, more support for Chicago schools
The Cook Commissioner and Teachers Union organizer’s education platform includes tackling the district’s school funding model and providing free public transit rides and universal child care.
If elected Chicago mayor, Paul Vallas promises to open schools on nights and weekends, expand choice
Vallas’s education platform brings back some policies from his time as CEO of Chicago Public Schools. His platform proposes to expand charters, alternative schools, and work study programs. Vallas also wants to keep schools open on nights, weekends, holidays, and during summer to provide young people a safe place to go.
After collecting dozens of questions from readers, Chalkbeat Chicago sent 10 to the candidates running for mayor. Here’s a look at where they stand on the top issues facing Chicago Public Schools.
The move may violate city and district ethics rules surrounding political activity and official business.
The candidates have varying connections to the city’s schools and young people. Chalkbeat Chicago is summing up what they’ve done and is asking readers what questions we should ask them.
Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker promises preschool expansion, free college tuition for working families in second term
In his inauguration speech, the governor said he would make college tuition free for working-class families and expand preschool to all Illinois families.
In 2022, investigators found dozens of instances of sexual misconduct and abuse, schools mislabeling truants as transfers, a surge in overtime payments, and an end to automatic JROTC enrollment.
It’s been a tumultuous and uncertain year for public schools in Chicago and Illinois. But there have also been moments of joy and resilience. Chalkbeat Chicago reporters documented it all. Here are a dozen of the top stories of 2022.