Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool speaking to the City Club of Chicago in May Credit: Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Tuesday, August 8, 2017.

  • Chicago Public Schools lays off 356 teachers, about 600 support staff

Chicago Public Schools laid off about 950 employees—356 teachers and approximately 600 support staffers—Monday morning. The district blamed the layoffs on staffing changes at schools where enrollment has declined or programs have been changed. The laid-off teachers are eligible to apply for open teaching positions at other CPS schools. CPS also delayed releasing its full operating budget for the 2017-2018 school year. “We are doing this to allow Springfield more time to resolve the statewide education funding crisis before we ask our board to vote on a budget,” district spokesman Michael Passman told the Sun-Times. [Sun-Times]

  • Lawyer: Ex-Northwestern professor plans to plead not guilty to murder of Trenton Cornell-Duranleau

Northwestern professor Wyndham Lathem—who was fired by the university effective August 4—is expected to plead not guilty to first-degree murder charges for the July 27 stabbing death of 26-year-old Trenton Cornell-Duranleau in River North, according to his California attorney, Kenneth Wine. On Monday afternoon Lathem appeared in court in suburban San Francisco, where “he agreed to waive his arraignment and right to oppose extradition to Chicago,” the Sun-Times reports. “Since the beginning of this case, the defense has received dozens of calls and letters in support of Dr. Lathem, from friends and colleagues who have known him for decades,” Wine said in a statement. “They all describe him in the same way—a kind, intelligent, and gentle soul, and a loyal and trusted friend. What he is accused of is totally contrary to the way he has lived his entire life.” His codefendant, Oxford University employee Andrew Warren, also charged with first-degree murder, is slated to appear in court for the first time Friday. [Associated Press via Tribune] [Sun-Times]

  • Walter Payton College Prep ranked as the nation’s top public high school

Walter Payton College Prep has been named the best public high school in the U.S. by Niche, a website that analyzes schools and neighborhoods. Niche “reviewed more than 17,000 public high schools using Department of Education data and reviews from students and parents,” according to DNAinfo Chicago. Chicago magnet schools dominated the website’s list, with Northside College Prep coming in at number two, Whitney Young Magnet High School at number five, Jones College Prep at number nine, and Lane Tech at number one. [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • Chicago Police Department to hold entrance exam for aspiring officers

The Chicago Police Department will hold its fourth police entrance exam in six years. It’s part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to expand the force by adding 970 officers. Applications to take the December 16 exam will open on August 15. [Sun-Times]

  • Emanuel doesn’t even need a VIP wristband to attend Lollapalooza

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been a fixture at Lollapalooza since 2011, and unlike other celebrities and VIPs, he doesn’t even need a wristband to get in, according to the Tribune. He was spotted next to actress Rumor Willis watching Jacob Banks’s set Saturday afternoon. Malia Obama, singer Halsey, and Cubs player Ben Zobrist were some of the other famous people spotted at Grant Park over the weekend. Eater Chicago tracked where the performers in town ate, from Lorde heading to Three Dots and a Dash with an entourage of 20 people on Thursday to Killer Mike wearing a Cubs cap at Irie Jerk Bar and Grill in Lakeview. [Tribune] [Eater Chicago]

  • Dixie, a southern-inspired restaurant in Bucktown, has closed

Bucktown’s southern-inspired restaurant Dixie has closed. Chef and owner Charlie McKenna, who also owns Lillie’s Q, might open another restaurant in the location, at 1952 N. Damen. [Eater Chicago]