Beth Swanson -- a top-ranked education adviser to Mayor Rahm Emanuel who helped settle the 2012 teachers strike -- has left her gig at City Hall for an apparently cushier VP position at The Joyce Foundation.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Swanson resigned from her post as Emanuel's deputy chief of staff for education where her annual salary was $154,992 to take a new job as the nonprofit foundation's vice president of strategy and programs.
Swanson had been a key, highly effective force in negotiations to put a stop to the seven-day strike that made national headlines and pitted the mayor against the powerful Karen Lewis-led Chicago Teachers Union amid outrage over his move to impose a longer school day among other controversial decisions.
Swanson's resignation follows early-summer exits from City Hall senior staff members Sarah Hamilton, who was the mayor's PR chief, and Matt Hynes, who headed up the intergovernmental affairs department.
Her departure could be a setback of sorts on Chicago's chronically tumultuous education front -- especially as Emanuel prepares for what's looking to be a tough re-election battle ahead. Making matters worse, Lewis is mulling whether to run against him -- a showdown that would certainly place city school issues front and center with Chicago Public School teachers' contracts up for renewal next year.
Last week, CPS approved its $6.8 billion budget for 2015 while taking heat over slashing public school money, diverting more dollars into charters and falling back on another one-time fix to plug a massive $880 million deficit hole