The Chicago Public Education Fund Launches $2.15 Million Grant Program to Support Schools Across the City

Flexible, Emergency Funding Provided by Leading Chicago Philanthropists to Assist in Meeting the Immediate Needs of Over 200 Schools This Year CHICAGO, December 4, 2020 – The Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund) and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced the launch of the COVID-19 Comeback Fund, a $2.15 million grant program designed to meet the immediate needs of public school leaders and their students as they grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 school leaders will receive up to $10,000 each in grant support for use during the current school year. The program was made possible through the support of the local philanthropic community, including Crown Family Philanthropies, the Joyce Foundation and Citadel Founder and CEO Ken Griffin, who also serves as vice chairman of The Fund’s board of directors. “We are honored to support these dedicated school leaders and educators in Chicago as they continue to innovate for the benefit of students and their families,” Caroline Crown expressed on behalf of Crown Family Philanthropies. “These are the frontline workers who are making high-quality, positive, and equitable school experiences possible for the next generation of Chicagoans, and they need amplified resources to be successful.” Ken Griffin said, “The pandemic has presented significant challenges for students, teachers and school leaders alike, and those challenges are most acutely felt by the school communities already facing opportunity gaps. By providing flexible funding to meet an array of urgent needs, the Comeback Fund will help support our city’s most vulnerable students during this unprecedented period.” Leaders of eligible schools applied for up to $10,000 in grant support to fund a number of initiatives that support student learning. They are already making ambitious plans for the flexible funding, with projects largely focused on the following four areas: engaging students and families, improving student learning outcomes, creating time for teacher collaboration, and increasing access to social-emotional learning. The grants will also provide insight into the types of curriculum support and professional development schools will need in the future. “In this uncertain environment, we must continue to invest in the people we know make a difference for our students, including our school leaders,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson. “Our dedicated principals, assistant principals and educators are working tirelessly to support their students by creating safe and nurturing learning environments in a remote setting. Opportunities like the COVID-19 Comeback Fund ensure that our school leaders have the additional support they need to strengthen school practices to be responsive to student, teacher and community needs.” Grant eligibility was determined using several factors, including: the CPS Draft Equity Index, which is based on 12 socioeconomic indicators representing the opportunity gaps schools and communities are currently experiencing; COVID-19 case rate data; and experience with remote learning in spring 2020, as measured by schools with non-passing and incomplete grades, a proxy for opportunity gaps in engagement in digital learning. Eligible schools are largely located in the neighborhoods that have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and many have had challenges implementing remote learning. For more information, contact: Elizabeth Greiwe, The Chicago Public Education Fund | (630) 336-7303   About The Chicago Public Education Fund The Fund is a nonprofit organization that improves public schools in Chicago by investing in the talented educators who lead them. We are a catalyst for accelerating student learning and a long-standing leader in identifying and scaling what works for not only teachers and principals, but also their students. To learn more about the principals we serve and the work we do, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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