Samantha Smylie

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.

Rachael Mahmood, the Illinois 2024 Teacher of the Year, focuses on creating lessons that affirm her students’ identities and interests.

About a third of CPS elementary students are meeting state standards in reading, while about one-fifth meet them in math.

Bills to keep police in some Chicago schools, prevent changes to the city’s selective enrollment schools, and provide stipends for student teachers all failed during the session

The $53.1 billion budget funds a new early childhood education department, creates a state child tax credit, and adds $350 million more to K-12 public schools.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson asked Illinois Senate President Don Harmon in a letter late Thursday to hold a bill that would block changes to selective enrollment schools and prevent any school closures until 2027.

Chicago Public Schools has a new formula for funding its schools. Some are seeing boosts, while others will be working with tighter budgets.

Illinois high school juniors will have to take the ACT to graduate starting spring 2025. This comes at a time when most colleges and universities are again requiring students to take entrance exams for the admissions process.

lllinois lawmakers overhauled K-12 funding seven years ago and promised to 'adequately fund' every district by 2027. A new report finds that won’t happen until 2034, unless more education money is budgeted every year.