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Mauricio Pena

Reporter, Chalkbeat Chicago

Mauricio Peña is a reporter at Chalkbeat. He joined Chalkbeat from Block Club Chicago, where he was a founding member. He covered Pilsen, Little Village, West Loop and Back of the Yards. He previously worked as an Associate Digital Editor at Chicago magazine. He also worked as a breaking news reporter at DNAinfo Chicago, and an investigative reporter covering immigration and equality at the Desert Sun for the USA Today Network. He has an M.S.J from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Despite high voter turnout — largely buoyed by student voters — many of Chicago’s Local School Councils still have open seats. Data shows schools on the South and West Side account for the majority of unfilled seats.
After facing pressure to shift from punitive to restorative practices, Chicago Public Schools is making changes and reducing the number of police at schools, but details on how things are shaping up are hard to come by.
The state overpaid Chicago Public Schools $87.5 million between 2019 and 2022. Now, the district must pay $11 million annually through 2030.
As most Chicago high schools have moved away from police officers on campus, 40 schools will have at least one officer on campus this fall.
Roughly 2,500 out of the 57,000 students enrolled in summer programs have consented to school-based COVID testing, but the district cautioned the numbers are preliminary.
Amid pushback on a Near South Side high school, Mayor replaces Chicago school board member Dwayne Truss with a city council ally
A Chicago planning document includes proposals to create a Department of Learning, repurpose vacant schools, subsidize child care, and offer career training for people leaving prison.
Highland Park families turned to schools for grief counseling after a mass shooting in the suburb north of Chicago.
COVID vaccines for children under 5 are finally available. In the first week, more than 2,000 Chicagoans have gotten shots.
The approved budget includes $8 billion in operational expenses, $645 million in school building improvements, and $769 million to pay off debt.
CPS officials said the authorization will allow the district to be nimble and prepared for unexpected purchases.
Board members and community members have raised concerns around community engagement and adverse impacts on other schools in the face of CPS enrollment declines.
The district will resume testing for summer school starting July 6, and will offer testing during the upcoming school year.
Joyce Chapman will fill the long-standing vacancy and complete the Chicago school board. She will serve starting June 1 through June 30, 2023.
As part of a Chicago Public Schools film project, in partnership with other groups, students at four high schools seek to elevate the voices of young people.
The masking requirement at Oscar Mayer Magnet School and 20 classrooms comes as Chicago Public Schools cases have increased in recent weeks, surpassing the mid-January omicron surge.
Caucus of Rank and File Educators, which has led the Chicago Teachers Union for a decade, received 56 percent of votes cast.
Chicago Teachers Union members will choose between three leadership slates with very different visions for the coming years.
Pedro Martinez, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, was experiencing mild cold-like symptoms after testing positive on Thursday.
Please Stay is focused on providing mental health support aimed at suicide prevention for seventh to 12th grade students in Chicago Public Schools.
The move from low to medium transmission risk will not trigger a citywide mask mandate, or other restrictions, health officials say.
With the help of a town hall, phone calls to parents, and student- created TikTok videos, Dunne STEM Academy has seen vaccine rates climb in recent months from 5% to 42.3%.
Advocates and parents have raised concerns about curriculum, support for English language learners, and meeting the needs of students with disabilities.
Ahead of the monthly board of education meeting, Chicago teachers, parents, elected officials decry proposed budget.
One Summer Chicago, Chicagobility, and youth programs aim to engage children, teenagers, and young adults with paid jobs and arts and cultural programs across the city.
Chicago Public Schools received 6,123 candidate applications across 509 schools for the governing bodies of public schools known as Local School Councils, ahead of elections held on April 20-21.
Chicago music teacher Trevor Nicholas and his students created an original song and music video. It earned Nicholas a Grammy nod.
Despite a gradual uptick in overall vaccine rates since December, the nation’s third largest district is struggling to make inroads at predominantly Black schools on the South and West Sides.