Leading News Archives March 2016

March 31, 2016
In today’s Leading News, Chicago newspapers report this week on the CTU walkout scheduled for Friday, raising many questions. CPS has announced plans for students on April 1. Earlier this week, Governor Bruce Rauner stated his case for education funding reform in Wilmette. Finally in today’s news, a Reuters special report looks at the market for cheating on the SAT.

Teachers who cross strike pickets on April 1 could owe pay to CTU
Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, March 28

Chicago Teachers Union walkout raises legal questions
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, March 29

CPS lays out plans for students during teachers' walkout Friday
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, March 29

Rauner talks school funding, education reform with WJHS students
Kathy Routliffe, Pioneer Press/Wilmette Life, March 28

Special Report: College Board gave SAT exams that it knew had leaked
Renee Dudley, Steve Stecklow, Alexandra Harney and Irene Jay Liu, Reuters/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 28

March 30, 2016
In today’s Leading News, learn more about the U.S. Supreme Court’s split vote on allowing public-sector unions to collect fair-share fees, and reaction from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Pekin CHSD 303 takes a close look at recently-published suspension statistics. A program at Alton High School are participating in a program to foster respect in the school. Finally, in the news, former USDOE secretary Arne Duncan is bringing a job initiative to Chicago, with the aim of fighting violent crime in the city.

Top court vacancy gives unions unexpected victory
AP/Chicago Sun-Times, March 29

Rauner, unions to keep fighting
over fees after U.S. Supreme Court ruling
Sara Burnett, AP, State Journal-Register, Springfield, March 30

Pekin’s suspension rate near top for Illinois,
but superintendent says it's not that simple
Robert Downen, Pekin Daily Times, March 18

AHS students promoting respect at school
Scott Cousins,The Telegraph, Alton, March 25

Arne Duncan takes aim
at Chicago's violence with youth jobs initiative
Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Chicago Tribune, March 17

March 29, 2016
In today’s Leading News, the Sun-Times "Watchdogs" look at a charter school operator’s use of public funds. School districts ask for relief as they cope with pension liabilities to federally-funded teachers. The North Mac CUSD 34 is reviewing community concerns about its superintendent. An Illinois high school is the first to use new technology to monitor athlete injuries. Finally in the news, learn the latest on Friday’s anticipated walkout by the CPS teachers union.

THE WATCHDOGS: UNO’s secret spending spree
Dan Mihalopoulos, Chicago Sun-Times, March 26

Algonquin-based School District 300 condemns pension liability portion
of teacher retirement contributions
Allison Goodrich, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, March 26

Board still reviewing group’s call for ouster
Nick Draper, The Telegraph, Alton, March 26

High school athletics:
Bradley-Bourbonnais using new technology to monitor injuries
Steve Soucie, Kankanee Daily Journal, March 28, 2016

What CPS parents need to know about Friday’s teacher walkout
Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, March 26

March 28, 2016
In today’s Leading News, PARCC testing continues in Illinois schools, with many students opting out. The State Journal-Register looks at the 5Essentials survey. More Chromebooks will be in students’ hands in Manteno. North Chicago objects to a second charter school. And finally, the high cost of security is part of the discussion in Park Ridge-Niles SD 64.

PARCC testing begins again but still no opt-out policy
Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, March 27

Online survey documents public schools' strengths, weaknesses
Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, March 26

Grade school preps for more Chromebooks
John Dykstra, Daily Journal, Kankakee, March 24

District 187 objects to second charter school for North Chicago
Emily K. Coleman, News-Sun, Lake County, March 23

District 64 struggles to balance school security upgrades
with high price tag
Natalie Hayes, Pioneer Press/Park Ridge Herald Advocate, March 23

March 25, 2016
In Leading News for Friday, school trips will continue under the U.S. State Department’s travel warnings after this week’s bombings in Brussels. CTU delegates have OKed an April 1 walkout. Governor Bruce Rauner discusses the agriculture education line item in the Illinois budget A concert will feature stringmusicians from Alton’s public schools. And finally in the news, some students in Springfield don’t sit at their desks.

Annemarie Mannion, Pioneer Press, The Doings, LaGrange, March 23

Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, March 24

Bernard Schoenburg, Lincoln Courier, March 22

By Scott Cousins, The Telegraph, Alton, March 23

Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, March 23

March 24, 2016
In today’s Leading News, CPS is  suing the Illinois State Charter School Commission over the latter’s allowing three schools to remain open. Naperville’s SD 203 will hold off on a tax break because of concerns about state funding. Peoria SD 150 outlines cost-cutting measures. Local governance units will expand their communication in Utica. Finally in the news, see how education fared in Pennsylvania, which ended its budget impasse, leaving Illinois as the only state without a budget.

CPS sues state charter panel
over reversal of district bid to shut 3 schools
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, March 23, 2016

District 203 board nixes tax abatement
in light of state funding worries
Alicia Fabbre, Naperville Sun, March 23, 2016

District 150 details cost-cutting recommendations,
including annual layoffs
Pam Adams, Journal Star, Peoria, March 21

Utica boards to exchange info
Dan Churney, Ottawa Times, March 23

Pennsylvania impasse ends after governor relents;
Illinois now only state without budget
AP, State Journal-Register, Springfield, March 23

March 23, 2016
In today’s Leading News, the Tribune newspaper group examines Illinois’ delay in offering the federal school construction loan program. Decatur-area schools discuss the funding formula. Two Henry County school districts are considering consolidation. Elgin-based U-46 is changing its science curriculum. Finally, 10 southern schools will participate in an program designed to prepare rural high school students to graduate with college credit.

Illinois waited to act on $500 million
in interest-free loans for local schools
Geoff Ziezulewicz, Elgin Courier-News, March 22

Proposals seek full education funding 
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, March 22

AlWood, Cambridge consider consolidation
Sherrie Taylor, Register-Mail, Galesburg, March 21

U-46 changing the way students learn science
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, March 21

IRISE program chooses 10 local high schools to participate
Sarah Halasz Graham, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, March 19

March 22, 2016
In today’s Leading News, the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board will determine the legality of CTU’s planned April 1 walkout. Mercer County SD 404 will enable a financial safety net. Most Will County Schools are riding out the financial storm. Springfield SD 186 will get new high school textbooks. Finally in the news, participation in extracurricular activities is an indicator of academic success.

CTU’s April 1 strike legal or illegal? State board would decide
Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, March 21

Mercer County school board takes action to provide a 'safety net'
Staff report, Aledo Times, March 17

Most Will County schools show high financial health
Felix Sarver, Shaw Media/Daily News, Joliet, March 17

District 186 students, teachers to benefit from textbook purchase
Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, March 21

Participation in student activities linked to academic success
Annemarie Mannion, Pioneer Press/The Doings, Western Springs, March 17

March 19, 2016
In Leading News for the weekend, Mt. Zion CUSD 3 is aligning with PERA by implementing student academic growth into teacher evaluations. THSD 113 in Highland Park has voted down a naming-rights policy for donors. The school board for Mercer County SD 404 has created a“safety net” for working cash. Students who aren’t eligible for bus service in Waukegan can now pay to ride. Finally, St. Charles CUSD 303 considers the best time for a school construction referendum.

Student academic growth to be part of Mount Zion teacher evaluations
Ryan Voyles, Decatur Herald-Review, March 17

Dist. 113 votes down mega-donor building naming rights -- for now
Karen Berkowitz, Pioneer Press/Highland Park News, March 17

Mercer County school board takes action to provide a 'safety net'
Staff report, Aledo Times, March 17

Waukegan District 60 rolls out pay-to-ride bus service
Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, March 14

St. Charles Dist. 303: Go for tax hike next November or April?
James Fuller, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, March 17

March 18, 2016
In today’s Leading News, Illinois lawmakers discuss which should come first: school funding or fixing the formula. Learn about Monticello’s plans in the wake of a election outcome against a referendum. Find out what could happen if CPS misses a debt payment. A Grayslake Elementary District 46 school is developing a teacher collaboration program. Finally, statistics show kids with August birthdays – usually the youngest in their grades – are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.

Education Desk: GOP Lawmakers Urge Approval For Gov's Ed Plan
Dusty Rhodes, NPR Illinois/WUIS, Springfield, March 17

Monticello high school referendum defeated once more
Huey Freeman, Decatur Herald-Review, March 17

If CPS ever misses a debt payment, property owners would see taxes jump
Heather Gillers, Chicago Tribune, March 16

Grayslake school launches collaborative teaching strategy
By Bob Susnjara, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, March 14

Why kids with August birthdays are more likely to get an ADHD diagnosis
Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post/Kankakee Daily Journal, March 16

March 17, 2016
In today’s Leading News, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland, is a product of Illinois public schools and was a student representative to the school board. Wauconda School District 118 is part of a lawsuit seeking TIF district resolution. CTU plans an April 1 walkout. The Future Farmers of America organization states the case for agriculture education to members of the Illinois legislature. Finally, recently-released data that show that 60 percent of Illinois school districts have deficit spending, but fewer are on ISBE’s financial watchlist.

Obama nominates Merrick Garland for Supreme Court
Staff reports, Chicago Tribune, March 16

Niles West classmates recall 'all-everything' Garland
John Keilman, Angie Leventis Lourgos, Ted Gregory, Skokie Review, March 16

Lakemoor officials ask residents to lobby Wauconda taxing bodies
to settle TIF lawsuit
Caitlin Swieca, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, March 15

CTU leaders plan walkout at schools on April 1
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, March 14

FFA students make case for ag, education
Nat Williams, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, March 12

About 60 percent of state school districts are deficit spending...
Diane Rado, Chicago Tribune, March 16, 2016

March 16, 2016
In today's Leading news, take a look at a few of yesterday's referenda results. The Moline-Coal Valley School District speaks out against a TIF extension. The U.S. Senate has confirmed John King as Education Secretary. Finally, WUIS examines Governor Rauner's proposed education budget.

Laura Nightengale, Journal Star, Peoria, March 15

Primary 2016 Results
AP/WSIU, March 16

Suburb voters weigh in on county leaders, referendums
Staff report, Chicago Tribune, March 16

Moline school board opposes extending TIF in downtown
Nicole Lauer, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, March 14

John King Confirmed as Education Secretary
Lauren Camera, U.S. News and World Report, March 14

Education Desk: Gov's Proposal Will Still Produce Winners, Losers
Dusty Rhodes, WUIS, March 14

March 15, 2016
In Leading News for election day, county sales tax proposals and bond referenda are on many Illinois ballots. Meanwhile, a controversial Black History Month assembly has the DeKalb SD 428 board considering a principal’s future. Faculty cuts are on the horizon for Lincoln-Way CHSD 210. Finally in the news, the Daily Herald takes a critical look at how Illinois property taxes compare to other states.

Brown County School District seeks sales tax
to fund building improvements
Matt Hopf, Herald-Whig, Quincy, March 10

Galena divided over school bond
John Kruse, Telegraph Herald/thonline.com, Dubuque, March 8

After controversial assembly,
DeKalb school board wants principal to resign
Brittany Keeperman, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, March 11

Lincoln-Way cuts 31 teachers
Susan DeMar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, Narch 14

Is Illinois second worst for property taxes in U.S.? Sort of
Jake Griffin, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, March 9

March 14, 2016
In today’s Leading News, Illinois’ second year of PARCC testing gets underway, as ISBE checks up on districts with low participation last year. A suburban school board member is on Bernie Sanders’ team. A high school district works towards biliteracy recognition. Finally in the news, legislation recently introduced would allow speed cameras in downstate school zones.

Will, Grundy schools test students on PARCC for second year
Felix Sarver, Morris Daily News, March 13

District 214 being investigated over PARCC test walkouts
Melissa Silverberg, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, March 11

East Aurora board member takes 'leap of faith' for Bernie
Denise Crosby, Aurora Beacon-News, March 11

District 204 to recognize student biliteracy with state seal
Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, March 10

Bill would permit speed cameras in downstate school zones
Drew Zimmerman, State Journal-Register, Springfield, March 13

March 11, 2016
In today’s Leading News, Danville SD 118 discusses restoring or closing a school after flood damage late last year. CPS has filed a lawsuit against its ex-CEO. Cuts are possible in Ottawa if a referendum for District 44 does not pass. A survey of staff raises questions and concerns in Glen Ellyn. Finally, Time magazine reports on a study of studies that suggests that homework isn’t beneficial for elementary grades.

District 118 considers closing Cannon school
Staff report, Danville Commercial-News, March 10

Chicago school board seeks $65 million in lawsuit against ex-CEO
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, March 10

Further cuts, school closures possible if District 44 referendum fails
Jerrilyn Zavada, Ottawa Times/mywebtimes.com, March 8

Staff survey raises 'major concerns' about Glen Ellyn Dist. 41 board
Katlyn Smith, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, March 8

Why Parents Should Not Make Kids Do Homework
Heather Shumaker, Time, March 8

March 10, 2016
In today’s Leading News, the Mattoon school board has voiced its support for funding local colleges and universities. CPS directs its principals to put all schools on a spending freezeProcurement card transactions are questioned in Decatur. District 203 based in Naperville discusses debt abatement vs. cash reserves. Finally in the news, in advance of a performance in Peoria, legendary singer Barry Manilow asks for contributions to District 150’s music programs.

Mattoon school board shows support for EIU, Lake Land
Jarad Jarmon, Journal Gazette & Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, March 8

Running out of cash, CPS tells principals to stop spending
Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, March 10

'Procurement card' letter stirs superintendent row
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, March 10

District 203 debt abatement unlikely this year
Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, March 8

Barry Manilow asks fans to donate musical instruments for District 150
Staff report, Journal Star, Peoria, March 8

March 9, 2016
In today’s Leading News, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says there won’t be a vote on a school funding budget until districts know how changes will affect them. In Carbondale, teachers warn of low retention rates. Springfield SD 186 is planning technology upgrades over five years. In East Aurora, contract negotiations continue. Finally, Macoupin and Edwards County residents will vote on a school facilities sales tax on March 15.

Cullerton says no vote on K-12 education until he gets details of how schools are affected
Doug Finke, State Journal-Register, Springfield, March 8

District 95 union leaders warn of low teacher retention
Sarah Halasz Graham, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, March 9

District 186 planning big upgrade in technology for students, teachers
Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, March 8

East Aurora teachers hold 'tough love' rally on contract
Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, March 8

Tax question could have big impact on Macoupin schools
One percent sales tax must be used for facility improvements
Cory Davenport, The Telegraph, Alton, March 8

One Percent Sales Tax Proposed for Edwards Co. School District
Griffin Glasscock, WEVV News, March 9

March 8, 2016
In today’s Leading News, education leaders from Peoria continue their push for changes to the school funding formula. Chicago Public School officials have indicated they will continue to pay the pension pickup for teachers until the final stage of contract negotiations is completed. As spring state assessments get underway, a number of changes are expected for schools and students in 2016. And one district is anticipating significant savings due to low fuel prices this school year.

'We are the have-nots': Peoria students, educators push for school funding reform
Pam Adams, Peoria Journal Star, March 4

Chicago Public Schools won't stop pension payments until talks completed
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, March 4

Spring state testing season brings changes, unknowns and pushback
Diane Rado, Chicago Tribune, March 7

Rockford schools on track to save more than $1M in fuel costs
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, March 1

March 4, 2016
In Friday’s Leading News, the Illinois house approved a bill calling for an elected school board for Chicago Public Schools. Meanwhile, CPS announced three staff furlough days as its budget crunch continues. Retired teachers met in Springfield to oppose insurance cuts. With DeKalb County school districts aiming for a school facilities tax, the county board has raised concerns. Finally in the news, ISBE is looking into low participation rates for PARCC testing in 2014-2015.

Illinois House Overwhelmingly Approves
Of Electing Chicago’s School Board
Becky Vevea, WBEZ News, March 3

CPS sets 3 furlough days for workers,
cancels school on Good Friday
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, March 3

Retired teachers lobby against insurance cuts 
Drew Zimmerman, State Journal-Register, Springfield, March 2

DeKalb County Board:
School facility sales tax would be troublesome
Brittany Keeperman, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, March 2

As PARCC testing approaches,
ISBE launches inquiry into 2015 participation
Diane Rado, Chicago Tribune, March 3

March 3, 2016
In Thursday’s Leading News, response to the Illinois State Charter School Commission’s overturning of CPS’s decision to close three charter schools. One central Illinois district is eyeing additional budget cuts. Pana CUSD 8’s funding story is among those heard in Springfield. DeKalb parents brought concerns of racial tensions to the board of education. In Peoria, the school board joined other governing entities in a meeting to promote “intergovernmental cooperation.”

CPS, CTU unlikely allies against state charter commission
Lauren Fitzpatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, March 2

Struggling Riverton School District eyes $300K in cuts
Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, March 1

Protests, hearings over school funding
Joe Astrouski, WAND, March 1

DeKalb H.S. Parents Address Racial Tensions At Board Meeting
Phillip Reed, WQRF, Rockford, March 1

Peoria city council, school board,
other governing bodies collaborate at joint meeting
Pam Adams, Peoria Journal Star, March 1

March 2, 2016
In today’s Leading News, Governor Rauner brings his education message to several Illinois schools. Aurora East USD 131 teachers have rejected the latest contract offer. With pensions as a contention point, CPS teachers could strike April 1 as negotiations continue. Finally in the news, Evanston THSD 202 examined and refined its goals for the next five years at a community workshop.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner praises Rockford School District,
criticizes Democratic lawmakers
Maggie Hradecky, Rockford Register Star, February 29

Rauner calls for more education funding
Ed Tibbetts, Quad City Times, March 1

East Aurora teachers reject final contract offer
Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, February 28

Teachers could strike April 1 if pension pickup taken away
Lauren Fitzpatrick and Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, February 29

Evanston Township High School officials, community members workshop new school goals
Darby Hopper, The Daily Northwestern, Evanston, February 28

March 1, 2016
In today’s Leading News, East Aurora’s District 131 will continue negotiations after a teacher contract offer was rejected last week. The state has opened an investigation into the finances of Lincoln-Way CHSD 210. A downstate district denies allegations of sex discrimination brought by a principal, who will continue her role as the case progresses. . The Blue Ridge CUSD 18 discusses PARCC scores, including those of students who “didn’t take it seriously.” Finally in the news, a west suburban district has joined many college campuses in banning hoverboards.

Dist. 131 teachers, staff reject latest proposed contract
Anna Marie Kukec, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, February 27

State opens investigation into Lincoln-Way's finances
Gregory Pratt, Daily Southtown, Chicago and south suburbs, February 29

Superintendent denies sex discrimination in Highland principal’s pay
Mary Cooley, News-Democrat, Belleville, February 29

Area update: Blue Ridge board discusses low test scores
Jeff Zogg, The News-Gazette/LeRoy-Farmer City Press, February 27

Oswego area schools ban hoverboards
Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, February 29

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Leading News Archives 2016