Forrest Claypool Named New CEO of Chicago Public Schools

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has named Forrest Claypool the new CEO of Chicago Public Schools.

Sources told NBC Chicago's Mary Ann Ahern the decision was made Wednesday and an official announcement was made Thursday.

Emanuel called the decision a "new chapter in the story of CPS."

"I’m pleased to announce that Forrest Claypool will become the new CEO of Chicago Public Schools," Emanuel said during a news conference. "I’ve never seen a manager with Forrest Claypool’s capacity of leadership."

Claypool succeeds Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who resigned in June in the wake of a federal investigation.

"Over the last four years Chicago Public Schools have made enormous progress academically," Claypool said. "Those gains are at risk because of strong fiscal headlines that have appeared in the last couple of years."

Claypool said Chicago is being "treated unequally" in terms of funding for education and noted the highly-debated pension issue looming over the organization.

He promised to "manage the system as best as possible."

Claypool, who was born in Vandalia has been one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's most trusted advisors. After running the CTA in Emanuel's first term, Claypool was asked to become the mayor's Chief of Staff, but within three months he's now about to be named the CEO of CPS.

Claypool has a law degree from the University of Illinois and while he's been a long time political operative, he has no education experience.

Labeled a reformer, Claypool once ran against John Stroger but lost in the race for President of the Cook County Board. He did serve as a County Commissioner for eight years. He also lost in a primary race against Joe Berrios for Cook County Assessor in 2010.

Not only has he been Emanuel's go-to-guy, during the Daley Administration, Claypool was Superintendent of the Park District and also served as Chief of Staff.

Mayor Emanuel has not announced who his fourth Chief of Staff will be to replace Claypool’s current role.

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