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Uruguay school

A student attends the first day of class since a coronavirus lockdown in Montevideo, Uruguay on June 15, 2020. In the U.S., Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced new guidelines for schools reopening in the fall that calls for students and teachers to wear face masks.

Matilde Campodonico

Newsletter: Illinois Schools Will Look Different In The Fall

Good afternoon! It’s Tuesday, and Chicago has seen a 736% increase in 911 complaints about fireworks. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Illinois unveils new guidelines for schools reopening in the fall

Students will have to wear face coverings and undergo temperature checks before entering schools, according to new state guidelines released today for K-12 schools. The guidelines also say that no more than 50 people can gather in a single space and students must remain 6 feet apart as much as possible.

You can find the state’s guidelines for K-12 schools here. [Illinois State Board of Education]

And guidelines for colleges and universities can be found in this link. [ISBE]

Meanwhile, the number of cases and deaths appear to continue their decline. State officials announced 38 deaths today, bringing the total number of fatalities to just over 6,700. Officials also reported 601 new cases after more than 20,000 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours. Illinois has seen a total of more than 137,000 known cases since the beginning of the pandemic. [IDPH]

Elsewhere in the U.S., some states are reconsidering their reopening plans as more than half the country faces a surge in cases. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, today called the rise in infections “disturbing.”

The European Union is prepared to bar Americans from entering member countries because the U.S. has failed to get the virus under control, reports The New York Times. [New York Times]

Across the country, more than 120,000 deaths and more than 2.3 million cases have been reported. [NPR]

2. A look at the debate over cops in schools

The Chicago Board of Education is expected to vote tomorrow on whether to end a $33 million contract with the Chicago Police Department that allows officers inside public schools. School districts across the nation have similar arrangements, and recent protests for racial justice have amplified calls to sever these deals.

Supporters of stationing cops in schools say it keeps students safe. But research shows that Black students are far more likely to be arrested than other students while at school.

Check out this article from NPR that breaks down why there’s a push to remove officers from schools and what research shows about their impact on students. [NPR]

3. Why were more than 100 people shot in Chicago over the weekend?

Like many of his predecessors, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown blamed gangs, guns, drugs and short prison sentences for the recent spate of weekend violence, which saw at least 13 people dead among the 110 people shot.

But Brown also focused on the jail, saying “there are too many violent offenders not in jail or on electronic monitoring, which no one is really monitoring.”

County officials said more resources are needed. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office said the electronic monitoring program has grown by more than 1,000 people since the beginning of the pandemic without additional resources. [WBEZ]

The weekend violence also complicates the debate over whether City Hall should cut the Police Department’s budget and use that money for social programs.

In an interview with The New York Times Magazine, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that “defunding the police” would result in fewer cops because 90% of the department’s budget is used for personnel. [New York Times]

4. Will problems pop up in Kentucky’s primary?

In Louisville, Ky., there’s just one in-person polling place for a city of nearly 600,000 people, fueling concerns about long lines and other problems that could overshadow today’s primary.

Kentucky and New York are holding primaries in which establishment Democrats face challengers who are hoping to see a boost in support from recent protests against racism.

In Kentucky, Amy McGrath faces state Rep. Charles Booker in the Democratic Senate primary that will determine who runs against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in November. McGrath is favored by party leaders, and Booker has gained support from progressives.

The results of the primaries in both states may not be immediately known, as Kentucky and New York officials say they are seeing a surge in mail-in ballots that will take time to count. [AP]

5. Politics influenced Roger Stone sentencing, whistleblower says

Top Justice Department officials pressured prosecutors to suggest a lighter sentence for Trump ally Roger Stone, according to a current federal prosecutor who is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow.

Aaron Zelinsky is one of two whistleblowers who are expected to describe how politics have influenced the Justice Department, reports NPR. Zelinsky will tell lawmakers that Stone received different treatment “because of his relationship to the president,” according to prepared remarks obtained by NPR.

Stone was eventually sentenced to 40 months in prison after being convicted of trying to obstruct a congressional investigation that threatened President Donald Trump. [NPR]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Miami will now host a presidential debate after the University of Michigan bowed out due to coronavirus concerns. [Politico]
  • The funeral for Rayshard Brooks took place today at a church where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. served as a co-pastor. [NPR]
  • New York City will begin sting operations that target people illegally selling fireworks. [Buzzfeed]
  • Comedian Tina Fey apologized for episodes of 30 Rock that include blackface and has called for their removal. [Buzzfeed]

Oh, and one more thing …

Uuughh, how many TV streaming services do I need in order to live a happy life? (Also, that’s a joke for anyone just itching to fire off some hate mail. The answer is obviously five. Joking.)

Apple unveiled a teaser for its upcoming sci-fi series that’s based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation novels, which is about a group of scientists and engineers who foresee the end of the Galactic Empire and try to save it. (Why does this sound familiar?) The series will be available on Apple TV next year. [The Verge]

Tell me something good ...

We’re officially now in summer! And I’d like to know: What is one of your favorite “songs of summer”?

For reader Emma Smart, it’s “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles.

“That song feels like an 8:30 p.m. sunset kissing your skin as you drive down Lake Shore Drive with the windows down, so you can feel the breeze coming off the lake. It tastes like cotton candy and corn dogs from the state fair. It’s sunburns and tired eyes and summer smiles. In short; it’s a bop! The whole album is so good and has definitely been a source of joy for me during these [insert buzzword here] times we’re living in.”

And Joe Stroming tweets:

“Best summer song, Regret by New Order.”

Feel free to email at or tweet to @whuntah.

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