July 18, 2023

“City leaders must show residents they’re addressing the root causes of this growing crisis. To curb the violence, Chicago needs to take a deep look at Chicago Public Schools."

STATEMENT from the


CONTACT: Micky Horstman (312) 607-4977

Vallas: Chicago needs new crime strategy amid summer of violence  

CHICAGO (July 18, 2023) – Chicago recorded nearly 60 shootings during the Independence Day holiday, multiple robberies in rapid succession in Lincoln Park and is seeing a surge in summer violence and crime.

Paul Vallas, policy adviser for the Illinois Policy Institute, offered the following statement:

“We can no longer ignore the link between crime and education: In the 1990s when the homicide rate fell by nearly half, schools were open past regular hours, high school students were given work-study opportunities, school choices for all families were expanded and alternative schools opened for students expelled or who dropped out.”

“But today, CPS enrollment remains in decline. More and more students are spending time on the streets instead of in the classrooms. Over 90% of school-age youth 17 years and younger who are victims of gun violence are not enrolled in school, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab. And now, the Chicago Teachers Union and its political allies are trying to sunset the Invest In Kids scholarship program, which gives over 9,000 low-income students access to alternative education that suits their individual needs.”

“By prioritizing student safety, offering support systems and providing alternate pathways for at-risk youth, schools can contribute to the reduction of violence. Chicago lawmakers would be wise to encourage such educational reforms.”

To read in depth about Vallas’ crime solutions, visit illin.is/curbingcrime.

For interviews or interviews, contact media@illinoispolicy.org or (312) 607-4977.