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.
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.
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.
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.
With cases of COVID-19, flu, and other respiratory viruses on the rise, Chicago’s top doctor Allison Arwady and schools chief Pedro Martinez are encouraging students to stay vigilant during the holiday break.
Chicago Public Schools dispatched crisis teams to Benito Juarez Community Academy High School Monday and the school is offering a shortened schedule this week to give students time to process what happened. But because gun violence can ripple through many schools, Chalkbeat compiled a list of resources available to students.
How are Illinois schools spending federal COVID money? New spending dashboard allows people to look up the data.
Less than half of the federal COVID money sent to Illinois has been spent by school districts, according to a new data dashboard. The money has so far helped pay for staff, new technology, tutoring, and building repairs.
Applications for next school year are due Thursday, Dec. 8 at 5 p.m. Students can apply for magnet, gifted, selective enrollment, charter, and neighborhood schools through the GoCPS portal. Offers will be made in the spring.
Ayala was the first woman and person of color to hold Illinois’ top education job and emphasized equity in education throughout her career.
After Chicago Public Schools moved to take over two campuses from Urban Prep, the Illinois Board of Education will vote Thursday on whether to revoke its agreement for the charter’s third campus.
The billionaire ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who pledged to give away her fortune has donated $25 million to Chicago Public Schools, $16 million to the Noble Network of Charter Schools, and $7 million to the LEARN Charter School Network.
The nonprofit One Million Degrees provides low-income community college students with mentoring, tutoring, an annual stipend, and professional development to help them stay enrolled, finish their degrees, and have a career.
The measure would have temporarily withheld city money for school projects if Chicago Public Schools officials failed to show up. Several aldermen voted against the proposal because they didn’t want to stymie projects in their communities.
Pritzker has said he will continue to increase funding for early childhood education, K-12 schools, and higher education while boosting pay for early childhood teachers.
Migrant students have enrolled in Chicago Public Schools and 11 different suburban districts. In Chicago, teachers are raising concerns about declining numbers of bilingual staff and lack of translated curricula.
After 11 years of declining enrollment, Chicago Public Schools now serves 322,106 children, making it the nation’s fourth largest district after Miami-Dade County Public Schools, which serves 324,961 students.
Vaccine mandates, greener schools, mental health supports are among Chicago teachers union recommendations
State Rep. Kambium “Kam” Buckner outlined a platform for Chicago Public Schools that looks to tackle the district’s school funding model, staffing, and universal preschool for all 3-year-olds.