Leading News Archives April 2016

April 29, 2016
In Friday’s Leading News, Williamsville CUSD 15 has reached a settlement with a transgender student, providing “a self and welcoming place” for all students. Lake County schools seek balance in transgender student accommodations. A community survey will help set the direction of a referendum for St. Charles CUSD 303. Last week’s news that taxing units owe funds from overpayment of PPRT funds may be “a wash.” Finally in the news of the week, CPS has approved changes for charter schools.

Education Desk: Settlement In Williamsville
Provides Support For Trans Students 
Dusty Rhodes, WUIS, Springfield, April 27

Lake County schools seek balance
in creating accommodations for transgender students
Emily K. Coleman, News-Sun, Lake County, April 26

Survey will be final piece of St. Charles school referendum decision
James Fuller, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 26

Revenue gone awry:
For school districts, PPRT overpayment could be a ‘wash’
Lainie Steelman, McDonough County Voice, April 26

Chicago Board of Ed approves changes for charter schools
Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, April 26

April 28, 2016
In today’s Leading News, CPS makes contingency plans in case of a teachers strike. Geneva schools ask community to reconsider local TIF financing. Peoria SD 150 anticipates new state discipline laws. Naperville-based District 204 agrees to a contract with non-union employees. Finally in the news, Danville schools’ “house” system us undergoing restructuring.

Chicago Public Schools making contingency plans for possible strike
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, April 27

Geneva schools seek public's help to fight TIF
Ssan Sarkauskas, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 26

District 150's suspension numbers drop
ahead of new school discipline law
Pam Adams, Journal Star, Peoria, April 25

District 204 non-union workers to get 2.9% pay hike
Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, April 26

Vote set on overhauling school's 'houses'
Noelle McGee, News-Gazette, Champaign, April 26


April 27, 2016
In Wednesday’s Leading News, many newspapers ran the AP report out of Harrisburg about school districts fearing closures without a state budget; others added another local take to the report. Class rank is on the way out in Huntley. Lacrosse is on its way in with IHSA. Finally in the news, a Chicago high school offers vocational training in construction fields.

Illinois budget impasse sparks fears of school closings
Sara Burnett, AP/ Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 26

Illinois schools fear closures from lack of funding
Derek Barichello, Ottawa Times, April 26

Huntley High School Class of 2019 will be last with class ranks
Allison Goodrich, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 25

IHSA approves boys, girls lacrosse state series beginning in 2018
Dan Shalin, Pioneer Press, Elmhurst, April 25

Dunbar H.S. to prepare students for jobs in construction trades
Fran Spielman, Sun-Times, Chicago, April 25

April 26, 2016
In today’s Leading News, Illinois state universities will get $600 million in emergency funding, authorized by the legislature and signed by Governor Rauner. Galesburg SD 205 plans withdrawal from its current special education co-op. A northwest suburban legislator has proposed a bill to strengthen community college partnerships with school districts. A Palatine-based district is responding to concerns about a long-term teacher contract. Finally in the news, peer mentors in Belleville public schools work with students with autism.

Illinois governor signs $600M university funding package
AP/The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, April 25

Conditions outlined for Dist. 205 to leave KWSED
Ben Zigterman, Register-Mail, Galesburg, April 19

David McSweeney bill aimed at making high school-community college partnerships
Allison Goodrich, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 22

Palatine District 15 defends decision to keep teacher contract private
Erin Hegarty, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 20

Peer mentors assist Belleville students with autism in social graces 
Mary Cooley, News-Democrat, Belleville, April 23

April 25, 2016
In today’s Leading News, the Peoria Journal-Star looks at a minority enrollment gap in Peoria SD 150’s academic achievement programs. Belleville SD 118 is growing too big for its existing facilities. The University of Illinois system is planning layoffs. Waukegan’s life-safety survey shows costly upgrades are needed. Finally in the news, lawmakers from southern counties press for more school funding.

Stark differences in black and white enrollment for District 150 gifted programs
Pam Adams, Peoria Journal-Star, April 24

Belleville District 118 outgrowing its school buildings
Mary Cooley, News-Democrat, Belleville, April 21

University of Illinois plans layoffs
David Mercer, AP/Rockford Register-Star, April 21

Waukegan District 60 has sticker shock over required building improvements
Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, April 20

Southern Illinois lawmakers, school officials push for more funding
Dan Petrella, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, April 21

April 22, 2016
In the Leading News, a proposed constitutional amendment regarding the “millionaire tax” did not succeed in the Illinois House, but a bill to get construction funds to school districts did. CPS has asked CTU to submit to binding arbitration, while the state’s labor relations board has ruled on the April 1 walkout and the legality of CTU strikes. East St. Louis SD 189 plans layoffs. Finally in the news, support gathers to save Orion CUSD 223's music programs.

Déjà vote: Madigan millionaire tax fails once again
Tina Sfondeles, Chicago Sun-Times, April 20

House approves bill to get school construction money to districts
Doug Finke, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 19

CPS asks teachers union for binding arbitration to avoid strike
Staff, Chicago Sun-Times, April 21

25 teachers could get layoff notices at East St. Louis school district
Carolyn P. Smith, News-Democrat, Belleville, April 20

Orion students, parents call to preserve music program
Lisa Hammer, Quad City Dispatch-Argus, April 20

April 21, 2016
In the Leading News for Thursday, response to the state’s overpayment of personal property-tax replacement fund to local taxing units. A proposed bill would allow school districts the choice of which college entrance exam to offer, despite the state’s new agreement with SAT. West Aurora SD 129 is changing its plans for new classrooms. Finally, NPR continues its “School Money” project.

State overpaid $168M to local taxing disticts,
including District 186 and city of Springfield
Jamie Munks and Tim Landis, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 20

State's tax error to cost CPS $23.5 million
Kim Geiger, Chicago Tribune, April 20

Bill would give school districts the choice to administer the ACT or SAT
Darcy Benway, O’Fallon Progress/Belleville News Democrat, April 20

Plans scrapped for new classrooms at West Aurora High School
Linda Girardi and Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, April 19

How Illinois Pays For Public Schools, $9,794 Vs. $28,639
Becky Vevea, WBEZ News, April 17


April 20, 2016
In today’s Leading News, the Sun Times is reporting that the state is asking for money back, citing overpayments to local governmental units, including school districts. CTU is telling parents to “be prepared” for a strike. CPS has said it will need to borrow more. The dome is done, as repairs to Hononegah CHSD 207’s athletic facility dome prove too expensive. Finally in the news, a proposed constitutional amendment to restate the state’s obligation to public education is working its way through the legislature.

State asks local governments to return $168M in overpaid revenue
Tina Sfondeles, Chicago Sun-Times, April 19

Teachers union chief to parents on possible strike: ‘Be prepared’
Mitch Dudek, Chicago Sun Times, April 18

Chicago schools need to borrow more, CEO Forrest Claypool says
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, April 18

Hononegah athletic dome falls victim to costly repairs
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, April 18

Illinois education-funding amendment gets initial OK
Ivan Moreno, AP/The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, April 18

April 19, 2016
In today’s Leading News, the Chicago Teachers Union has rejected an independent contract proposal. Metro East districts respond to Senate Bill 231, while newspapers from the north and south consider the ongoing state budget talks. Finally in the news, high school students walk in the dark to gain awareness of and offer support for of the pain of depression.

Chicago Teachers Union rejects fact-finding report,
starting clock on potential strike
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, April 17

Bill to change school funding formula advances;
some metro-east schools support
Elizabeth Donald, News-Democrat, Belleville, April 14

Illinois leaders report minor progress in state budget talks
Sara Burnett, AP/Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, April 17

Rauner-Madigan rivalry hamstrings Illinois budget talks
Ivan Moreno, AP/The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, April 18

East Aurora High School's overnight
suicide awareness walk brutal, rewarding
Denise Crosby, Aurora Beacon News, April 17

April 18, 2016
In today’s Leading News, NPR features Illinois school districts as it opens a series entitled “Why America’s Schools Have a Money Problem.” Granite City CUSD 9 is walking back its school uniform policy. Some Champaign-area school districts have schools for sale. Finally in the news, district leaders in McHenry County are watching school funding reform and another plan is raising questions in Springfield.

Why America's Schools Have A Money Problem
NPR Morning Edition, NPR Education Team, April 18

School uniform policy overturned
Jordan Maddox, WSIL, April 17

Schools on the market
Debra Pressey, Champaign News-Gazette, April 17

McHenry County school officials wary as funding reform bill advances
Allison Goodrich, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 16

School funding amendment seen as long shot at Statehouse
Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 16


April 15, 2016
In today’s Leading News, school boards engage in tough budget discussions and districts discuss state funding proposals. A new report examines enrollment at Chicago’s neighborhood schools. A 10-year teacher contract is in the works for Palatine CCSD 15. Finally, new opportunities are becoming available for students after community college.

District outlines $2 million in cuts, fee increases
Scott Cousins, The Telegraph, Alton, April 12

Local districts lose under governor’s funding plan
Michelle Sherman, Canton Daily Ledger, April 14

Reports address Chicago's under-enrolled neighborhood high schools
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, April 12

10-year District 15 teachers contract done, with 6 years of 4% raises
Erin Hegarty, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 13

Northwestern University opening more doors
to community college students
Jodi S. Cohen, Chicago Tribune, April 14

April 14, 2016
In today’s Leading News, an updated school funding proposal by Senator Andy Manar has passed the Senate Executive Committee. Read more reporting on response to Governor Bruce Rauner’s education funding proposal, released Tuesday. Finally in the news, Teutopolis CUSD 50 is considering a compromise to transporting students to school early for a religious program.

Revised school funding formula clears first hurdle in Senate
By Doug Finke, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 13

Governor Rauner’s proposed spending plan would mean big cuts for Rockridge School District
Johnnie Jindrich, WQAD, Quad Cities, April 13

Schools boss Claypool blasts Rauner’s plan to slash $74M from CPS
Lauren FitzPatrick, Tina Sfondeles, Chicago Sun-Times, April 12

Funding plan a mixed bag for region’s schools
Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree, Journal-Courier, Jacksonville, April 13, 2016

Settlement proposed over Teutopolis schools' religious program
Bill Grimes, Effingham Daily News, April 12

April 13, 2016
In today’s Leading News, read initial state-wide and local takes on Governor Bruce Rauner’s education budget proposal, released on Tuesday to mixed reviews. Finally in the news, the Illinois House passed a budget plan, hours after Rauner and the four General Assembly leaders met.

Rauner's education plan boosts funding; which schools win, lose?
Ivan Moreno and John O’Connor, AP/Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 12

Wait-and-see attitudes greet Rauner's school funding plan
Steve Eighinger, Herald-Whig, Quincy, April 12

Most Sangamon County schools gain money
under Rauner's education funding proposal
Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 12

Rauner's plan for education funding a mixed bag for area schools
By Eric Timmons, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, April 12

House passes $3.9B budget bill after leaders meet
Dan Petrella The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, April 13

April 12, 2016
In today’s Leading News, Governor Bruce Rauner is expected to announce his education budget today. Jefferson County residents seek answers about consolidation calculations. Danville CUSD 118 considers a district-wide reorganization. Almost 500 students were accidentally misinformed about their acceptance into a Chicago magnet school. A new report shows online classes don’t achieve the same results as in-person classes in credit recovery programs.

Mike Riopell, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 11

Evie Allen, WSIL, April 11

Carol Roehm, Danville Commercial-News, April 9

Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, April 5

Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, April 10


April 11, 2016
In Monday’s Leading News, “Not an easy issue” is what Illinois lawmakers are saying about transgender student locker room use. Drivers to Stevenson High School are taking shortcuts through neighborhoods. Mt. Vernon SD 80 is taking a close look at achievement gaps. New laws mean discipline procedures are changing in District 214 and elsewhere. Finally, AP reports on the numbers of teachers that worked during the CTU walkout.

Brian Brueggemann, Belleville News-Democrat, April 10

Russell Lissau, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 9

Travis Morse, Register-News, Mt Vernon, April 9

Melissa Silverberg, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 8

AP/DeKalb Daily Chronicle, April 9

April 8, 2016
In today’s Leading News, southern Illinois schools are feeling the pinch after years of underfunding. Could the school funding debate help spur an end to the ongoing budget gridlock? One school district continues to discuss possible implications of a later start time. Indian Prairie School District has adopted new science curriculum for middle school students. And Decatur schools continue to explore options for the best utilization of their facilities.

Nick Mariano, The Southern Illinoisan, April 6

Rick PearsonChicago Tribune, April 7

Doug T. Graham, Daily Herald, April 6, 2016

Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, April 5

Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald & Review, April 6

April 7, 2016
In today’s Leading News, District U46 has created an app that allows for customization by school for students, staff, and other users. Why one district is considering a food pantry on school grounds. Some school districts are being asked to explain why students did not take the PARCC last year, and find out how parents can help their kids with this year’s PARCC. Finally in the news, read a national story about expectations for minority students.

Amanda Marrazzo, Elgin Courier-News, April 6

Kimberly Fornek, Pioneer Press/Chicago Tribune, April 5

By Pam Adams, Peoria Journal Star, April 5

Carol Roehm, Danville Commercial News, April 3

Emma Brown, Washington Post/Chicago Tribune, April 3

April 6, 2016
In Wednesday’s Leading News, legislators return to the Capitol but little movement is seen to resolve the budget impasse. One school district is feeling the pressure from the ongoing gridlock in Springfield, while another may delay their budget preparation due to uncertainty from the state. A state senator has introduced a plan that would phase in changes to the school funding formula over four years. See how the teacher shortage is impacting a western Illinois school’s agricultural education program.

Ivan Moreno, AP/Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, April 4

Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald & Review, April 5

Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, April 4

Doug Finke, State Capitol Bureau, State Journal-Register, April 5 

Deborah Gertz Husar, Quincy Herald-Whig, April 4

April 5, 2016
In today’s Leading News, is a new school funding proposal on its way to the Illinois Senate? Also in the news, Anna-Jonesboro’s life-safety survey shows need for updates and funds to pay for them. Quincy has plans for growing more ag education.CPS has filed a labor charge regarding the legality of April 1's CTU walkout. Finally in the news, the Southern Illinoisan compares college and K-12 salaries.

Democrats to propose new school funding formula
Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, April 4

Safety concerns at Anna-Jonesboro High School
Evie Allen, WSIL-TV, April 4

Plans in place for adding ag to QHS curriculum
Deborah Gertz Husar, Quincy Herald-Whig, April 4

CPS files labor charge against teachers union over walkout
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, April 1

Some local public school administrators salaries rival those at SIU
Sarah Halasz Graham, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, April 3


April 4, 2016
In Monday morning Leading News, read reaction to Friday’s CTU walkout. Meanwhile, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued an opinion that the state has limited authority over CPS finances. Late payment penalties add millions, and counting, to the state’s deficit. DeKalb SD 428 is holding sessions on Erin’s Law. Finally, in Southern Illinois, Meridian CUSD 101’s urgent building project might run out of funds before completion.

Chicago Teachers Union tries to leverage momentum from walkout
Juan Perez Jr. and Kim Geiger, Chicago Tribune, April 2

Illinois attorney general:
State has limited fiscal authority over Chicago schools
Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune, April 1

Deadbeat Illinois: Late payments cost state $900M in penalties
Doug Finke, GateHouse Media Illinois, Rockford Register Star, March 31

DeKalb School District 428, Safe Passage
to talk to parents about Erin's Law
Staff report, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, April 1

Meridian school construction could be stalled by budget impasse
New building replaces one condemned because of toxic mold
Stephanie Esters, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, March 31

April 1, 2016
In today’s Leading News, Chicago teachers are on the picket lines during a one-day walkout, the latest move in year-long contract negotiations with CPS. The Illinois Supreme Court will not hear an appeal of a decision that allows a charter school to stay open despite Woodland Elementary District 50 objections. The state’s budget impasse may halt construction on a school facility for Meridian CUSD 101. Finally, Illinois high school seniors are increasingly considering out-of-state options as higher education funding remains in turmoil.

Chicago teachers hit picket lines at schools
Juan Perez Jr., Marwa Eltagouri, and Jeanne Kuang, Chicago Tribune, April 1

Teachers who strike Friday will not be disciplined, just unpaid
Lauren FitzPatrick and Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, March 31

CTU Strike: How Did We Get Here?
Sarah Karp and Becky Vevea, WBEZ News, Chicago, March 30

State Supreme Court decision means victory
for Grayslake charter school
Bob Susnjara, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, March 31

High schoolers, parents are wary of Illinois colleges
as budget crisis hits schools
Dawn Rhodes, Chicago Tribune, March 31, 2016

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Leading News Archives 2016