Leading News Archives February 2017

February 28, 2017
In today’s Leading News, CPS may end the school year early if they do not receive additional state funds. A northern Illinois district is following through with plans to host a daylong civil rights seminar. East Aurora schools are moving forward with a plan to provide busing for more than 3,000 students with hopes of reducing truancy. Eight Decatur school board candidates highlight their priority issues as the election approaches.

CPS says shorter school year possible
if no favorable ruling in funding suit
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, February 27

CPS could end school year on June 1 if state money doesn’t come
Lauren FitzPatrick and Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, February 27

School seminar near Chicago sparks civil rights, race debate
Sophia Tareen, AP/State Journal-Register, February 26

East Aurora looks at busing for 3,000 students;
some say it will cut truancy rate
Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, February 22

Decatur school board candidates highlight variety of issues
Valerie Wells, Herald & Review, Decatur, February 25

February 27, 2017
In today’s Leading News, Chicago Public Schools restored $15 million to city schools that were hardest hit by the recent spending freeze, but budget cuts at CPS have forced many teachers to pay for basic classroom supplies out of their own pocket. One downstate superintendent is skeptical of pledges from state leaders to increase funds for transportation and other categorical payments. A metro-east middle school has decided to ban students from using cellphones while in the building. One local school board is seeking community input to help with naming five new elementary schools.

Chicago Public Schools restores $15 million
from spending freeze to hardest-hit schools

Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, February 24

CPS teachers on their own for basic classroom supplies
Andrea Salcedo, Chicago Sun-Times, February 26

PBL superintendent skeptical of governor's pledge for school funding
Will Brumleve, Ford County Record, February 24

Metro-east middle school bans students from using cellphones
Lexi Cortes, Belleville News-Democrat, February 19

Board wants community input on K-5 school names

Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, February 23

February 24, 2017
In today’s Leading News, another one: Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has announced a school funding reform  task force to continue the work of Governor Rauner's commission. Illinois AFSCME membership authorizes its executive committee to call a walkout. WCIA looks at the teacher shortage in Illinois. An increase in expulsions draws attention in Aurora East USD 131. Finally in the news, a Bloomington-Normal program celebrates giving and learning to schools “Beyond the Books.”

Madigan Planning New Education Funding Task Force
Matt Masterson, WTTW-Chicago, February 23

AFSCME authorizes strike, but still wants to bargain with Rauner
Doug Finke, State Journal-Register, Springfield, February 23

Teacher shortage is statewide problem
Luke Ray, WCIA-TV, Champaign, February 21

Expulsions up in East Aurora schools
Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, February 14

Beyond the Books celebrates 25 years of giving, learning
Julia Evelsizer, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, February 22

February 23, 2017
In today’s Leading News, Illinois districts respond to the withdrawal of federal guidance on the use of restroom and locker room facilities by transgender students in public schools. The New Trier THSD 203 Board of Education heard from its community on an upcoming civil rights seminar. Morton CUSD 150 offers credit monitoring services to individuals possibly affected by an email scam. Finally in the news, Warsaw CUSD 316 aims to stop violations of school bus road safety laws.

Local educators say transgender policies
won't change after Trump rollback
Duaa Eldeib, Chicago Tribune, February 22

Trump administration lifts federal transgender bathroom guidelines
Maria Danilova and Sadie Gurman, AP/Chicago Tribune, February 22

Hundreds attend New Trier board meeting, 
most in support of upcoming civil rights seminar day
Kathy Routliffe, Pioneer Press/Winnetka Talk, February 21

Morton School District offers credit monitoring to victims of email scam
Steve Stein. Peoria Journal Star, February 21

Gound, board take steps to stop bus arm violations
Megan McNeill, Hancock County Journal-Pilot, February 22

February 22, 2017
In today’s Leading News, Pinckneyville SD 50 teachers have filed notice of intent to strike. Illinois school districts work with a new asthma emergency law. Thousands of students are absent from CPS during A Day Without Immigrants. Finally in the news, a Pontiac SD 429 turns up its STEAM programs.

Updated: Pinckneyville teachers' union declares intent to strike;
district says teacher salaries are 'high enough'
Stephanie Esters, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, February 21

Belleville schools already prepared for asthma emergencies
Kelsey Landis, Belleville News-Democrat, February 20

Illinois schools adapting to new 'asthma emergency' law
AP/State Journal-Register, Springfield, February 20

More than 50K CPS students absent on A Day Without Immigrants
Chicago Sun-Times, February 18

STEAM project moving forward at District 429
Luke Smucker, Pontiac Daily News, February 17

February 21, 2017
In today’s Leading News, read the reporting of a tentative agreement over a discriminatory funding lawsuit. The budget impasse continues to impact school districts. Finally in the news, a levee discussion is on the way for Marseilles ESD 150.

Chicago Urban League, ISBE Reach Tentative Settlement
in Yearslong Suit
Matt Masterson, WTTW Chicago, February 17

Tentative settlement reached in 2008 Illinois education lawsuit
over school funding
AP/Northwest Herald, Chicago Suburbs, February 18

State budget impasse still hurting schools
Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, February 18

District 204 budget cuts likely if state funding doesn't increase
Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, February 14

Marseilles School Board to hear about levee
Kate Reynolds, Ottawa Times, February 15
February 17, 2017
In today’s Leading News, Springfield SD 186 involves the community in a series of facilities discussions. Districts in Madison County discuss collaboration. The Decatur SD 60 school board considers its minority workforce. O’Fallon THSD 203 anticipates cuts, asks for budget input. Finally in the news, the House higher education committee forwarded a bill that would require public universities to admit all students in the top 10 percent of their high school class.

Residents surprised by Springfield public school facility situation
Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, February 15

Wood River, East Alton, Hartford schools talking collaboration
Brittany Johnson, Alton Telegraph, February 14

School board hears minority work force proposal
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald & Review, February 14

School district asks for public input on how to fix ‘financial crisis’
Lexi Cortes, Belleville News-Democrat, February 16

College admissions bill advances in Illinois House
AP/Pekin Daily Times, February 16


February 16, 2017
In today’s Leading News, a lawsuit aimed at requiring Chicago Public Schools to have an elected school board was rejected in federal court. East Moline SD 37 has reached a tentative agreement with its teachers to avoid a strike. Waukegan CUSD 60 discusses immigration rights. Finally in today’s news, two takes on Governor Bruce Rauner’s Wednesday budget address.

Federal judge rejects lawsuit demanding elected school board
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, February 15

EM teachers, school board reach tentative deal to avoid strike
Sarah Hayden, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, February 15

Waukegan District 60 to host informational sessions
on immigration rights
Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, February 13

We need a budget':
Southern Illinois leaders sound off after Rauner's third budget address
Molly Parker, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, February 15

Rauner talks tax hikes, need for compromise,
drawing Democratic laughter
Monique Garcia, Kim Geiger, and Haley BeMiller, Chicago Tribune, February 15

February 15, 2017
In today's Leading News, the CPS Board of Education has sued the state, citing "separate and unequal systems of funding for public education in Illinois." Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is calling for seat belts on school buses. The Pekin Daily Times looks at opinions on the state's school funding formula. Finally in the news, today's budget address by Governor Bruce Rauner draws national attention.

Lauren FitzPatrick, Dan Mihalopoulos, Chicago Sun-Times, February 14

Juan Perez Jr., Patrick M. O'Connell, Bill Ruthhart, Chicago Tribune, February 14

State Journal-Register, February 15, 2017

Sharon Woods Harris, Pekin Daily Times, February 8

Tony Arnold, Morning Edition/NPR, February 15

February 14, 2017
In today’s Leading News, Hundreds of Rockford SD 205 employees plan to strike. CPS budget hearings continue amid criticism. Ball-Chatham CUSD 5 works with law enforcement to determine the source of threats. The gummy bear incident in Naperville CUSD 203 has resulted in arrests. Finally in the news, Bob Daiber of the Madison County ROE intends to run for governor.

Rockford school employees prepare for strike
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, February 11

Critics find multiple targets at CPS budget hearings
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, February 13

Chatham police still seeking information on false school threats
Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, February 13

Teens charged in pot-laced gummy bear incident at Naperville North
Bill Bird, Naperville Sun, February 12

Madison County ROE Superintendent Bob Daiber
to run for Illinois governor
Nathan Grimm, The Telegraph, Alton, February 11

February 13, 2017
In today’s Leading News, McLean Co Unit District 5 plans to refinance bonds. Naperville CUSD 203 considers a levy abatement. After district rejection, a proposed charter school in Aurora East USD 131 will see state approval. The Daily Herald reports party politics are in play in Palatine CCSD 15’s school board race. Finally in the news, New Trier THSD 203 deals with criticism of a scheduled civil rights seminar.

Unit 5 expects to save millions in bond refinance
Julia Evelsizer, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, February 9

Citizens panel advises District 203 to abate debt levy
Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, February 7

Denied by East Aurora, charter school appeals to state commission
Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, February 9

Incumbent: Republicans making nonpartisan District 15 race political
Doug T. Graham, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, February 10

New Trier defends planned civil rights program
despite parents' criticism of liberal bias
Kathy Routliffe, Pioneer Press/Winnetka News, February 10

February 10, 2017
State legislators: Rauner should propose school funding plan
AP/State Journal-Register, Springfield, February 9

Proposal to discard state symbols not popular with Dennis kids
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald & Review, February 8

District 118 to consider pact with custodians
Carol Roehm, Danville Commercial-News, February 4

High school students get hands-on medical training
Sharon Woods Harris, Pekin Daily Times, February 5

Eleven applicants vie for vacancy on District 64 school board
Lee V. Gaines, Pioneer Press/Park Ridge Herald-Advocate, February 7 

February 9, 2017
In today’s Leading News, a renewed effort to solve the state’s budget crisis faded in the Senate yesterday. Contract negotiations will resume next week in East Moline SD 37. Rockford Public Schools plans to buy buses. A Decatur forum aims to help parents become leaders. Finally in the news, would this proposal change the way students learn about Illinois?

Fissures surface in Senate over far-reaching budget framework 
Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune, February 9

EM schools set talks on Feb. 15
Sarah Hayden, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, February 8

RPS 205 plans to replace dozens of school buses
Taylor Utzig, WREX, Rockford, February 8

Helping parents become community leaders focus of forum
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald & Review, February 7

Proposed bill would abolish most of Illinois' state symbols
AP/Ottawa Times, February 7

February 8, 2017
In today’s Leading News, the Illinois Senate is expected to discuss school funding in its pending budget presentation. Dueling letters are sent to CPS parents over CPS budget crisis. School, district, community, and Cubs rally around student injured in a beating at a U-46 middle school. Finally in the news, Governor Bruce Rauner visits schools, talks budget and defends confirmed U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Illinois lawmakers to weigh schools change during budget debate
Kim Geiger and Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune, February 7

Rauner’s schools chief tells parents CPS created its own mess
Tina Sfondeles, Chicago Sun-Times, February 7

Big-league boost, community support 
for South Elgin middle school assault victim
Rafael Guerrero and Ted Gregory, Elgin Courier-News, February 8

In Herrin, Rauner salutes K-12 schools 
while offering few details on the budget front
Molly Parker, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, February 7

Morning Spin: Rauner dismisses 'overblown emotion' on DeVos pick
Kim Geiger, Chicago Tribune, February 8

February 7, 2017
In today’s Leading News, changes to the way schools are funded will likely be part of the Senate’s budget package. Chicago Public Schools plan to freeze tens of millions in discretionary money to deal with short-term budgetary issues. The Springfield District 186 school board unanimously approved a one-year contract with area teachers. All Quincy High School juniors will begin taking the SAT in April of this year. A northern Illinois board will hear a proposal that aims to change attendance boundaries in response to higher enrollment and overcrowded buildings. 

Illinois lawmakers to weigh schools change during budget debate
Kim Geiger and Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune, February 6 
Blaming Rauner, CPS freezes up to $69M more in school spending
Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun Times, February 6

Springfield School Board approves one-year contract with teachers
Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, February 6

QHS shifts to SAT college entrance exam for junior class
Deborah Gertz Husar, Quincy Herald-Whig, February 6

Boundary changes proposed in Glen Ellyn District 89
Katlyn Smith, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 27

February 6, 2017
In today’s Leading News, the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission says schools need at least $3.5 billion more over the next decade. A group of western Illinois superintendents agree that a more equitable and adequate school funding system will require billions of additional dollars. Declining enrollment in a northern Illinois district has led a school board to study the use of its buildings. Curriculum changes in one district have opened door for more students to participate in the annual science fair. The Springfield school district is focusing on advanced placement classes as a way to help narrow the achievement gap.


Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune, February 2

Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, February 3

Bob Susnjara, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, February 2

Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, January 31

Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, February 4

February 3, 2017
In today’s Leading News, several Metro East schools are back in session after closing Thursday due to a water main break affecting a large area. Governor Rauner calls for structural change in any budget plan. Boundary changes are taken up in Glen Ellyn-based CCSD 89. Two Vermilion County districts discuss a co-op high school. Finally in the news, Quincy SD 172 ratifies the contract that avoided a January strike.

Schools under boil order planning to resume classes
Dana Rieck, Belleville News-Democrat, February 3

Rauner says final budget package must have
sufficient 'structural change' to gain his support
Rick Pearson, Kim Geiger and Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune, February 1

Parents to air concerns about boundary changes in District 89
Katlyn Smith, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 30

Vermilion districts holding meeting on proposed co-op high school
Noelle McGee, The News-Gazette, Champiagn, January 31

Quincy School Board ratifies union contract
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, February 2


February 2, 2017
In today’s Leading News, read two early takes on the report of the governor’s School Funding Reform Commission. Galesburg CUSD 205 Board of Education members tour school buildings in advance of budget decisions. A charter school proposal is reconsidered in Elgin-based School District U-46. Finally in the news, in case you missed it, learn more about a law enforcement warning regarding email security stems from a hack that affected Morton CUSD 150.

Governor’s commission urges more state money for poor students
Lauren FitzPatrick and Tina Sfondeles, Chicago Sun-Times, February 2

Education Desk: School Funding Inequity Needs $3.5 Billion Cure
Dusty Rhodes, WUIS/NPR Illinois, February 1

School board members tour schools as budget cuts loom
Gary Tomlin, Galesburg Register-Mail, January 29

U46 charter school proposal resurrected in Elgin
Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, January 31

Police suspect Russian link in Morton School District email 
Steve Stein, Peoria Journal Star, January 31


February 1, 2017
An update to today's Leading News regards Morton CUSD 150's management of a hacking situation, as reported in the Peoria Journal-Star. All school-related personnel are encouraged to report suspicious emails to law enforcement.

In today’s Leading News, the Decatur Herald and Review looks at how Decatur-area schools are impacted by the substitute teacher shortage. Two school boards delve into discussions regarding curriculum and textbook updates. Winchester CUSD 1 prepares for a bond issue. Finally in the news, CPS considers shortening the school year as a cost-saving measure.


Police suspect Russian link in Morton School District email 
Steve Stein, Peoria Journal Star, January 31

Substitute shortage solution is complicated 
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald & Review, January 27

U-46 board member: New curriculum 'glorifies communism,'
presents 'pseudoscience'
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 24

Morton textbook vote creates a controversy
Steve Stein, Peoria Journal Star, January 15

Winchester School Board prepares to issue $4 million bond
Nick Draper, Jacksonville Journal-Courier, January 28

Shorter school year an option as CPS faces filling budget gap
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, January 20


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