Policy and Reports

Our policy work aims to improve the conditions under which school leaders operate, enabling Chicago to be the best city in which to lead a public school.

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For more than two decades, our team has invested significant resources
in advancing policy goals that matter to school leaders.

From eligibility to accountability to compensation, our model is simple:
We assemble a diverse group of principals, aspiring principals, and other stakeholders;
we facilitate a process for clarifying needs on all sides;
we leverage the available data; and we work toward collective action.

We start with school leaders.

In addition to principals and aspiring principals engaged in our programs, we gather insights from an annual Principal Engagement and AP Survey and publish the results through The Chicago Principal Partnership. We also engage educators through our Educator Advisory Council (EAC). Since 2013, we have gathered council members four to eight times annually to shape The Fund’s program and policy work. These educators are valuable members of our team, and have a direct impact on our work.

We support principal managers.

Locally, we also engage Local School Council (LSC) Members. These elected officials play a critical role in principal performance and leadership stability at the local level. We develop resources and create space for LSC members to learn from one another through bilingual workshops and focus groups. 

And we convene national partners.

Nationally, we launched a Community of Practice (CoP) in 2019. With 19 member organizations, the CoP gathers quarterly to share data, reflect on promising practice, and elevate principal voice.

See more about CoP collaborations here.

Reports

Four or five times a year, our policy work and data use informs results in public reports.
Our reports dive deep on the impact of our programs, the potential for policy change, and
the stories of our school leaders. You can read them all below.

Report categories

Type

The Fund served 170 principals in 246 schools and developed 145 aspiring principals, who impacted 130,000 students in the 2021-22 school year. In our End of Year Report, we reflect back on the challenges and successes of the year - including the ongoing impact of COVID-19 learning disruptions - and preview how these lessons learned will inform our work in the 2022-23 school year.

The 2021-22 school year proved to be more complex and difficult than many expected. The vital work of rebuilding school communities required accelerating learning while prioritizing the social-emotional needs of students. Amidst hybrid learning, staffing disruptions, and community stress, Chicago’s school leaders seized opportunities to innovate. These 11 case studies offer a glimpse into their work and provide examples to inspire other leaders.

In the 2021-22 school year, we are serving 187 principals and 141 aspiring principals who impact more than 134,000 Chicago public school students every day. This work convenes stakeholders from across the city to cultivate the leadership of aspiring principals, stabilize and improve principal satisfaction, and provide existing leaders with resources to implement innovative solutions in their respective school communities.

In the 2020-21 school year, we served 346 school leaders across 258 schools through our 14 virtual programs. This new report provides an overview of our programmatic response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as details about our individual programs and whom they serve.

In September 2020, with over $2 million in support from the local philanthropic community, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) partnered with The Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund) and The Chicago Principal Partnership (The Partnership) to launch the COVID-19 Comeback Fund. This opportunity made it possible for over 200 eligible school leaders to receive up to $10,000 in flexible spending for use during the 2020-2021 school year.

Since fall of 2020, with the support of the local philanthropic community, The Fund has dispersed grants of up to $10,000 to over 200 schools hardest hit by the pandemic through the COVID-19 Comeback Fund.

In this report, we explore nine case studies about how Chicago principals have used Comeback Fund grants to meet the immediate needs of their communities, while also innovating for the future.

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