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.
Chicago fell behind on plans for students with disabilities during COVID-19. New data show the depth of the problem.
The pandemic year has uprooted support for students with disabilities in Chicago and nationwide, creating a backlog of old IEPs that could lead to widening academic gaps for students in need of special education services.