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Lost tech another problem for CPS amid COVID-19 pandemic

Chicago Sun-Times Education This Week
Education This Week is our weekly recap of the biggest news in education affecting the Chicago area, Illinois, the region and the nation. Today’s edition was written by Nader Issa, the Sun-Times’ education beat reporter. Follow him on Twitter here.

Good morning,
When the pandemic started just over two years ago, it soon became obvious districts nationwide would need to give students laptops and internet access for remote learning. That turned into a massive undertaking for districts like Chicago Public Schools with hundreds of thousands of students without digital connectivity.CPS built its inventory of devices over time with another significant purchase this past winter, and we monitored those efforts. This week, though, my colleague Frank Main took on the task of laying out another challenge CPS has faced: keeping track of that tech.
His reporting showed 210,000 laptops were distributed to CPS students by June 2021 to maintain remote learning and bridge the digital divide. But nearly a fifth of those have now been lost — nearly 40,000.
Like with any social support program, losses can be expected and accounted for while knowing the effort is benefiting the greater good — in this case children’s access to education. It’s still interesting to see those numbers laid out, particularly after new purchases just in the past two years. The district certainly will be hoping it can keep better track of its devices to cut the need for replacements year after year.
That was just one of a few education stories my colleagues covered over the past week while I was out sick. We had more on another controversy at Whitney Young Magnet High School, while Manny Ramos covered the Proviso teachers strike and a Chicago Teachers Union lawsuit against a former aide of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Check out those stories and more below.
Until next week,
Nader Issa, Sun-Times education reporter
Got a question you’d like me to look into? Respond to this email or send an email to audience@suntimes.com and your question may be answered in an upcoming newsletter!
CPS has lost 8% of schools’ ‘tech assets’ during COVID, tens of thousands of computers, even air purifiers, defibrillators
CPS teachers get in heated feud after one hangs African American doll from cord in classroom
CTU sues Lightfoot ally, accuses her of interfering in union’s elections
CPS won’t make up 5 lost school days from January standoff with CTU
Proviso Teachers Union reaches tentative agreement with school board, ending two-week strike
‘The spring ahead’: Check out the Sun-Times’ latest student art contest
We’re inviting kids from pre-K through high school in Chicago and the suburbs to tap their best artistic impulses to create and send us a work of art to fit the theme “Spring ahead.”
It’s for the newest Chicago Sun-Times art contest, part of what we call The Imagination Project — which began during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic and has included artwork on the theme of “Brighter Days,” short stories with plots based on heroism, sidewalk and driveway chalk art and snowmen.
Now, we want kids to submit a drawing or painting or digital artwork that shows their vision of moving forward into better days than the tough ones we’ve faced during the pandemic — or whatever else fits their vision of springing ahead.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Nader Issa

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