Chicago mayoral candidates Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson debate education funding, priorities

With just ten days until Chicago's mayoral runoff election, the candidates are still hoping to sway the undecideds out there in a race that is now officially too close to call.

Education took center stage during a Q and A at University of Illinois-Chicago on Saturday with Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas fielding questions while relying on their backgrounds and their expertise.

"As a public school teacher, I know what the disinvestment looks like. As someone who sends their children to the public schools, I recognize the disparity and inequalities that exist in the public schools," Johnson said.

"Community schools is my model – and what does that mean? That means you have to push the $30,000 per child that's being spent in the Chicago public schools down to the local communities," Vallas said.


With early voting now underway in all 50 of Chicago's wards, every vote counts leading up to April 4, education remains a top concern for many undecided voters. Both candidates have their eyes on specific goals for their first days in office.

"There's a new funding formula that bases funding on need not per pupil," said Johnson. "CPS has not embraced that funding formula and therefore there's one billion dollars that CPS is missing out on because they have not endorsed that model. When I become mayor, that is the first thing that I will do."

"The second thing we have to do is open our campuses through the dinner hour and on weekends and over the summer let the community use those campuses," said Vallas.