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Samantha Smylie

Reporter, Chalkbeat Chicago

Samantha Smylie is currently the state education reporter for Chalkbeat Chicago. Before joining Chalkbeat’s team, she worked at the Hyde Park Herald covering housing, education, retail and development in the Kenwood-Hyde Park neighborhoods on the city’s south-east side. She was a reporter fellow for City Bureau and participated in Propublica’s Data Institute. She had bylines in Block Club Chicago, the Chicago Reader and South Side Weekly.

Illinois advocates raise concerns about low wages, lack of job security, and increased burnout for after-school workers that could lead to a staff shortage.
According to the Illinois board of education’s funding formula, Chicago will receive a smaller than expected share of new state education funding this year.
Backpacks, notebooks, pencils, and other school supplies will see a reduced tax rate for the next two weeks.
A coalition of national groups warns the early learning system is approaching ‘a catastrophic funding cliff’
Illinois children between 6 months and 5 years old are now eligible for COVID vaccinations. Will child care centers return to normal this fall?
Chicago’s graduating seniors were in their sophomore year of high school when schools shuttered in 2020. They reflect here on their experiences of going to school during the COVID era.
The Illinois state board of education decided on Wednesday not to make changes to the current end-of year assessment for now.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law a bill providing paid COVID sick leave for school staff and restoring sick days taken during the 2021-2022 school year. Here’s what to know about the law.
After serving as the Illinois state board of education’s chair since 2019, Darren Reisberg will leave to become the 11th president of Hartwick College.
Illinois advocates raise concerns about the state’s assessment plan, saying that it will halt learning for students.
After blowing past a midnight deadline on Friday, Illinois lawmakers emerged with a budget plan that includes more money for K-12 education with tax relief and direct checks to families.
Illinois’ spring legislative session ended early Saturday morning. This is where education bills landed.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill that gives school employees paid COVID sick leave and restores sick days to teachers who took COVID-related time off during the 2021-2022 school year.
Illinois school districts are adjusting summer lunch programs as federal waivers are set to expire June 30. These waivers allowed districts to give meals to more students over the last couple of years.
As Illinois plans to move away from the IAR, a bill banning testing for the youngest students has passed a House education committee on Wednesday.
With the pandemic taking a toll on teachers, Illinois’ lawmakers consider a bill that will allow them to use sick days for mental health.
The Illinois state board of education will use federal coronavirus relief funds to support bilingual teachers who want to earn a state license
The Chicago Principals and Administrators Association is pushing a bill that will give the organization collective bargaining rights.
Illinois appellate court denied Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s appeal to reinforce emergency COVID mitigation rules. However, the court gave school districts the ability to set their own rules.
From school board meetings to legal cases, Illinois’ COVID mitigations for schools are being contested throughout the state. That debate seems to be heading towards the general assembly.
Illinois mask mandate will lift for residents Feb. 28, but students will have to continue wearing masks at schools. This comes as school districts scrambled to reassess COVID mitigations after a judge granted a temporary injunction last week.
For the first time since 2020, the Illinois governor has proposed an increase in the state’s education budget with investments for students from preschool to higher education.
Springfield School District 186 and Joliet Public Schools 86 were among schools to cancel classes, while Chicago Public Schools said it would be open.
Chalkbeat Chicago will be watching six education issues over the Illinois legislative session.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Monday that he came to an agreement with the state’s largest teachers union to give paid leave to fully vaccinated school employees.
Some Illinois teachers testified against the COVID vaccine mandate at a public hearing held during the state board of education’s monthly meeting.
In Illinois, 88% of superintendents report a teacher shortage and 93% of leaders believe the problem will remain in 2023 and 2024.
Intent on keeping schools open, the Illinois state school board will adopt guidance from the CDC that reduces quarantine by half.
In mere days, the lives of Chicago educators, students, and families have been upended. Here are their stories.