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Samantha Smylie

State Education 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.

Early childhood education advocates have long argued that low wages prevent child care centers from retaining employees for a long time. A new study finds a gap in wages between early childhood teachers and teachers in kindergarten despite having the same degree.
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.
The document was required as Chicago gears up to transition to an elected school board.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker sat down with Chalkbeat Chicago to talk about his priorities for education as he makes a bid for reelection.
The 2022 Illinois report card shows students have lost ground in math and reading due to pandemic disruptions
The Illinois Tutoring Initiative is expanding to more districts this fall as the state focuses on helping students recover from COVID-19 pandemic. However, funding for the program is set to expire in 2024.
As schools across Illinois bring back activities for students that happened pre-pandemic and protect them from the coronavirus, Jinsun Baek, a school nurse says that it will take balance to have both
Chicago students’ vaccination rates for illnesses like polio and measles rebounded last school year after taking a hit during the 2020-21 school year.
The Illinois State Board of Education held its first budget hearing Tuesday. Educators, school leaders, parents, and advocates called for more money for education.
Illinois education advocates gathered for a press conference on Tuesday morning to pressure the state to add more money to the state’s evidence-based funding formula to fully fund schools by 2027.
North Chicago SD 187 will transition to a fully elected school board by 2027. The state board of education decided on Wednesday that it was necessary to slowly transition the district to an elected school board with a few seats going up for election in 2025.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker names Steven Isoye, former teacher, principal, and superintendent from Chicago suburbs, to chair Illinois state board of education
As more young children get vaccinated, Illinois will no longer require unvaccinated school and child care employees to test for COVID twice a week.
Illinois is set to receive $760 million over the next 18 years after winning a lawsuit against major pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid epidemic. Law enforcement officials want part of the money to go to early childhood programs.
The Illinois state board of education announced eligibility guidelines for free or reduced-price meals as federal nutrition waivers expire.
A decade after Illinois took over North Chicago School District 187, the state board of education says it is looking into transitioning the district to an elected school board. The question still remains when it will happen.
As Illinois schools open, the state has adopted recent federal public health guidelines for COVID that ease quarantines and testing of students.
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.