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Education

Chicago Will Hold Diplomas Hostage Unless Teens Can Prove They Have Plans After High School

But critics say underfunded mandates will only add to the problems already plaguing public education in the Windy City.

The adage, “To whom much is given, much is expected,” can’t just apply to high school graduates.

Beginning with the class of 2020, all Chicago Public School students who meet traditional academic requirements necessary to graduate must also present a post-graduation plan before they can cross the stage to receive their diploma. Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and the city’s Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson hope to raise a million dollars for the “Learn. Plan. Succeed” initiative to add eight additional counselors to 172 high schools that teach almost 110,000 students. Chicago Public Schools have reported to the mayor’s office since 1995. But critics rightly point out that underfunded mandates like this one will only add to, not alleviate, the problems already plaguing Chicago schools.

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