Pritzker wants every child to go to preschool. That’s easier said than done. – Chicago Tribune newstrendslive

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Mayoral hopeful Brandon Johnson casts the Chicago Teachers Union‘s role as an underdog fighting for better schools. But Mayor Lori Lightfoot sees CTU’s advocacy in starker terms, accusing the union of politicizing education, wielding undue influence and playing a part in Chicago Public Schools’ enrollment loss.

Conflict with the teachers union has been a hallmark of Lightfoot’s term, starting with a bitter teachers strike months after she took office. Since then, she’s repeatedly clashed with CTU over COVID-19 restrictions, spending priorities and an elected school board, which she supported as a candidate, then balked at.

In a vivid display of the deeply held mutual acrimony, Lightfoot recently pointed a finger at Johnson, a longtime leader with the powerful union who won its endorsement and financial backing, during a meeting with the Tribune Editorial Board and accused the CTU of bringing “chaos” to Chicago schools.

Whoever becomes mayor for the next four years will face enormous challenges and a daunting transition from a school board selected by City Hall to one elected by voters.

Read the full story from the Tribune’s A.D. Quig, Alice Yin and Gregory Pratt.

Here are the top stories you need to know to start your day.

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Instructor Lourdes Molina sings along with dual language Chicago Public School preschoolers at Belmont-Cragin Elementary and Early Childhood Center in Chicago on Jan. 17, 2023.

In his second inaugural address this month, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker promised to “make preschool available to every family throughout the state” — a feat that will require solutions to staffing shortfalls, school capacity limitations and an increase to the state’s nearly $600 million early childhood education block grant program.

Providing free preschool “for everyone who wants it” will “require a multiyear approach to funding,” a Pritzker spokesperson said, adding his administration will be “working closely … with legislators, advocates, and other stakeholders on this in the years to come.”

The aldermanic candidates in Chicago's 34th Ward are lawyer Bill Conway and commercial real estate broker James Ascot.

The newest ward in Chicago — encompassing a good portion of the Loop, as well as Greektown, Fulton Market and a large swath of the Near West Side — is primed to become one of the most influential as it stands ready to become the center of the next wave of development.

But the two men vying to become the 34th Ward’s new alderman are unproven in the world of politics and government. One is a real estate developer who has twice lost bids for Congress and the other a well-known Navy veteran, former county prosecutor and son of a billionaire who failed to defeat Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx two years ago in the Democratic primary.

Recently installed traffic bollards stand at the intersection of North Rockwell Street and West Division Avenue in Chicago on Jan. 24, 2023.

Left turns at some Chicago intersections are getting a makeover as the city installs speed bumps and posts that are intended to make crossing safer for pedestrians, but the changes have led to confusion and online commentary by some drivers.

As pedestrian traffic injuries and deaths have risen in recent years, the city has installed devices at more than a dozen intersections intended to force drivers to take left turns at slower speeds and sharper angles. Barriers have been installed along the roads’ centerlines and topped with vertical posts, and rubber speed bumps jut out into the intersections.

Sky's Candace Parker reacts after scoring a basket during game 3 of the WNBA finals between the Chicago Sky and the Phoenix Mercury on Oct. 15, 2021, at Wintrust Arena in Chicago.

Despite her short tenure in Chicago, Parker accomplished nearly every goal she set out when she the former Naperville Central star first returned — All-Star selections, a record-breaking regular season and the franchise’s first WNBA title.

Take a look back at the best moments in Parker’s two-year run with the Sky.

Thin pancakes with lingonberry jam at Svea.

Scandinavians can teach us how to turn our chilly season into a candlelit celebration of soothing comforts, stress-free socializing, and heartwarming foods and drinks.

Nordic cuisine with a modern or traditional twist can be experienced in several places around the Chicago area. Here are five to start with.

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