Leading News Archives March 2017

March 31, 2017
In today’s Leading News, schools in the metro-east area are developing strategies to help prepare students for the SAT. The Decatur school board unanimously approved a three-year contract for their new superintendent. East-Aurora School District 131 has decided to rebrand its kindergarten center as a “STEAM Academy.” Quincy public schools will take a closer look at their fund balances due to the lack of transportation payments, while the Princeton Elementary School District prepares fund transfers as they are owed nearly $1 million from state.

Metro-east high schools worked to prepare students for new state test
Lexi Cortes, Belleville News-Democrat, March 31

New Decatur superintendent unanimously approved on Tuesday
Valerie Wells, Herald & Review, Decatur, March 28

East Aurora proceeds on preschool, kindergarten initiatives
Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, March 21

QPS plans closer look at year-end fund balances
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, March 20

State owes PES more than $930,000
Dave Cook, Bureau Country Republican, March 28

March 30, 2017
In today’s Leading News, the Urbana school district is working to prioritize upcoming facility projects, while Lake Villa SD 41 hopes to finish 27 building improvements before the end of the year. The Quincy school board recently approved a boundary plan for five new elementary schools. A downstate district is taking a unique approach to STEM learning by partnering with a local skating rink. Finally in the news, a bill that would make it easier for Chicago teachers to strike passed out of an Illinois House committee despite significant opposition.

summer facility-improvement plans
Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, March 28

Quincy School Board adopts K-5 boundary plan for new schools
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, March 22

Cahokia middle school students skate through STEM event
Carolyn P. Smith, Belleville News-Democrat, March 24

Bill to expand CTU's ability to strike passes through state House committee
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, March 29

March 29, 2017
In today’s Leading News, readers will find several takes on school funding reform. Read more reaction to the new school funding reform bill offered by state Senator Andy Manar. WUIS’s Education Desk discusses at a school funding lawsuit currently involving 16 school boards in the state. Suburban school districts join forces to discuss funding. Macomb CUSD 185 awaits categorical payments from the state. Finally in the news, special education students face additional challenges from PARCC testing.

Doug Finke, State Journal-Register, March 27

Lawsuit Aims To Fix School Funding Formula
Dusty Rhodes, Education Desk, NPR Illinois/WUIS, March 27

School districts unite to send common funding message
Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, March 24

Macomb School District still waiting on categorical revenue
Lainie Steelman, McDonough County Voice, March 23

PARCC test a double whammy for CPS special education students
Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, March 24

March 28, 2017
In today’s Leading News, a bill is introduced that would ban new charter schools in school districts in Illinois that are low on funds. East Moline SD 37 budget cuts include teacher layoffs. Waukegan CUSD 60 releases details of a new teachers contract. Alton CUSD 11 returns restructured funds to education funds. Finally in the news, a national study indicates that early childhood hunger can impact later school performance.

Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, March 27

Sarah Hayden, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, March 27

Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, March 26

Brittany Johnson, Alton Telegraph, March 25

Rhitu Chatterjee, NPR/The Salt, March 23

March 27, 2017
In Monday’s Leading News, Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) has introduced a new school funding plan, SB 1 in the state’s “grand bargain.” What will it take to get a budget deal done? Illinois requests dismissal of a CPS lawsuit based on equality. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on Metro East county sales tax proposals. Finally in the news, after-school programs face federal cuts.

Is 4th Time The Charm?
Manar Files New School Funding Compromise Bill
Dusty Rhodes, WUIS Education Desk, Springfield, March 24

Can budget deal ever get done with Rauner, Madigan at the table?
Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune, March 24

State asks judge to dismiss CPS lawsuit alleging
'separate and unequal' education funding
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, March 24

Starved by Springfield, Metro East schools seek 1-cent sales tax hike
Kevin McDermott, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 25

After-school programs on President Trump’s chopping block
Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, March 21

March 24, 2017
In today’s Leading News, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision expanding the rights of special education students, with the opinion stating the law “requires an educational program reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child's circumstances." In Illinois, the state Supreme Court declined to consider the issue of nonprofit hospitals paying property taxes, sending the question back to the circuit court on a procedural issue. CPS  battles for state funding. Warning children against inappropriate internet contacts isn’t enough, according to law enforcement. Finally in the news, Oak Park-River Forest HSD 200 establishes a “safe zone” for students and families regardless of immigration status.

Unanimous Supreme Court Expands Scope of Special Education Rights
Mark Walsh, Education Week School Law, March 22

UPDATE: Carle suit over taxes sent back to circuit court
Debra Pressey, News-Gazette, Champaign, March 23

Chicago Public Schools chief fires back at Gov. Rauner
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, March 23

Experts warn parents of 'sextortion'
Gary Gibula, Naperville Sun, March 23

'Safe zone' ordinance approved at Oak Park and River Forest High 
Steve Schering, Pioneer Press/Oak Park News, March 22

March 23, 2017
In today’s Leading News, Waukegan and Highland school districts agree to new teacher contracts. A Peoria Public Schools proposal to change start and dismissal times to a tiered schedule draws questions from the public. A downstate district continues to debate three options for future school bus service as their current contract comes to an end. Public health officials in two counties officially declare a mumps outbreak at a northern Illinois middle school.

Tentative agreement reached between
Waukegan District 60, teachers union
Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, March 21

Highland School Board, teachers agree on new contract
Megan Braa, Highland News Leader, March 20

Parents, some board members question PPS bus schedule plan
Pam Adams, Journal Star, Peoria, March 20

Belleville district still negotiating on future school bus service options
Lexi Cortes, Belleville News-Democrat, March 20

Mumps outbreak declared at Barrington Middle School – Station Campus
Todd Shields, Lake Zurich Courier/Pioneer Press, March 22

March 22, 2017
In today’s Leading News, school districts consider eliminating class rank for high school students. East Aurora SD 131 considers options for preschool and kindergarten. Summer projects are planned in Bement. Finally in the news, read a great article covering the history of Grass Lake SD 36's one-room schoolhouse, as sees its final days as a classroom.

Mundelein High may eliminate class rank, valedictorians
Russell Lissau, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, March 26

PPS considers new graduation requirements, no more class ranks
Pam Adams, Journal Star, Peoria, March 19

East Aurora proceeds on preschool, kindergarten initiatives
Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, March 21

Summer building work planned for Bement schools
Steve Hoffman, Piatt County Journal-Republican, March 15

School District 36 remembers its past
as one-room schoolhouse holds its final classes
Abby Scalf, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, March 20

March 21, 2017
In today’s Leading News, residents protest cuts to extracurricular and arts programs, pending an operating fund referendun at Oak Park ESD 97. The NAACP and Carbondale ESD 95 will hold a candidate forum. Aurora East USD 131 looks at the costs of not offering bus transportation. Herscher CUSD 2 sees declining enrollment. Finally in the news, school funding is the topic of a Decatur-area town hall meeting. 

Oak Park residents rally to prevent arts, extracurricular activities
from being cut at District 97
Steve Schering, Pioneer Press/Oak Park News, March 18

Carbondale District 95, NAACP to host school board candidate forum
The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, March 17

Lack of buses for East Aurora students may have cost district
Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, March 17

Teacher cuts fueled by declining enrollment
John Dykstra, Kankakee Daily Journal, March 15

Decatur town hall laments school funding woes
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, March 16

March 20, 2017
In today’s Leading News, a tragedy in Champaign has drawn attention to policy and elevated school districts’ concerns about bullying. CPS is seeking a court order to prohibit a one-day teachers strike. Illinois education secretary Beth Purvis calls for CPS to support pension overhaul. Finally in the news, St. Louis Public Radio looks at Illinois’ accountability plan.

Fighting back against bullying
Nicole Lafond, News-Gazette, Champaign, March 19

Districts constantly battling bullying
Noelle McGee and Nicole Lafond, News-Gazette, Champaign, March 19

CPS seeking order to stop 1-day teachers strike
Chicago Sun-Times, March 16

Rauner aide seeks Chicago schools’ support for pension plan
AP/State Journal-Register, March 16

Illinois school accountability plan focuses
on equity and academic growth
Camille Phillips, St. Louis Public Radio, March 19

March 17, 2017
In Friday’s Leading News, an Illinois house panel met Tuesday to take up the discussion of the school funding formula. The effort supporting an elected Chicago Board of Education is back in the news. Barrington SD 220 looks at its facilities. Layoffs are voted on in Oswego-based CUSD 308. Finally in the news, ceremonies next week will mark the groundbreaking for two new schools in Quincy.

Kiannah Sepeda-Miller, AP/State Journal Register, Springfield, March 14

Elected school board bill passes committee despite CPS opposition
Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, March 16

Doug T. Graham, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, March 15

Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, March 14

Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, March 15

March 16, 2017
In today’s Leading News, Rockford Public Schools are open despite a strike of non-teaching employees. Elgin-based School District U-46 heard from charter school proponents. A federal investigation continues into an alleged bribery scandal at Chicago Public Schools. Harrisburg CUSD 3 looks at sick leave details in its teachers contract negotiations.  Finally in the news, he Belleville News-Democrat asks about second chances on county school facilities sales tax referendums.

Strike, Day 1: Rockford Public Schools employees walk out
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, March 15

Supporters flood hearing on U46 charter school plan
Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, March 14

Feds: CPS consultant made millions
through 'corrupt process from beginning to end'
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, March 14

Harrisburg school board says sick leave language only sticking point
Travis Deneal, Harrisburg Daily Register, March 9

Can results be different in April
after previous defeat of sales tax votes?
Joseph Bustos And Lexi Cortes, Belleville News-Democrat, March 13

March 15, 2017
In today’s Leading News, NPR Illinois’ Education Desk looks at bills in the state legislature that impact education. Champaign CUSD 4 seeks federal funds for magnet schools. Last year’s state science test results aren’t available as the next round of testing begins. Letter grades are on the way out at a Lake Bluff SD 65 school. Highland CUSD 5 outlines what it would do with funds from a county school facilities sales tax.

K-12 Bills Beyond Budget Elephant In The Room
Dusty Rhodes, Education Desk/NPR Illinois, March 9

Champaign district seeks federal grant for magnet programs
Nicole Lafond, News-Gazette, Champaign, March 14

Results of state science test delayed more than a year
Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, March 14

A, B and C being replaced at Lake Bluff Middle School
Mark Lawton, Pioneer Press/Lake Forest News, March 13

Board: Half of sales tax money to pay debt, lower property taxes 
Megan Braa, Belleville News-Democrat, March 8

March 14, 2017
In today’s Leading News, the U.S. Senate voted to rescind ESSA’s accountability rules. Ag ed returns to Neoga CUSD 3. CPS faces a lawsuit over ADA requirements.  McHenry County stakeholders discuss the Illinois school funding formula. Finally in the news, Teddy the therapy dog helps students at Maine West High School. 

Senate Votes to Rescind Obama Rules on School Accountability
Maria Daniloca, AP/U.S. News & World Report, March 9

Neoga hires teacher for reinstated ag program
Rob Stroud, Decatur Herald and Review, March 12

Suit: CPS student must get out of wheelchair, push self up stairs
Matthew Hendrickson, Chicago Sun-Times, March 11

McHenry County districts, lawmakers
watching new school funding reform efforts
Kevin P. Craver, My Suburban Life, McHenry County, March 10

Chacour Koop, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, February 28

March 13, 2017
In today’s Leading News, the Peoria Journal-Star reports on the use of federal funds to make up pension costs. Palatine CCSD 15 hears from its community regarding facility access for transgender students.  McLean Co Unit District 5 approves a new science curriculum. DeKalb SD 428 gets updates on its audit and its search for a new superintendent. Finally in the news, The Belleville News-Democrat looks at how school districts would use funds from a proposed sales tax.

Schools using federal funds to offset state pension costs
Pam Adams, Peoria Journal Star, March 7

Transgender locker room debate comes to Palatine District 15
Doug T. Graham, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, March 8

Unit 5 approves new science curriculum, welcomes new administrators
Julia Evelsizer, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, March 9

DeKalb School District 428 board to hear updates
on superintendent search, audit
Drew Zimmerman, DeKalb Chronicle, March 7

Here’s how schools would use money from proposed sales tax hikes
Lexi Cortes and Elizabeth Donald, Belleville News-Democrat, March 10

March 10, 2017
In Friday’s Leading News, supporters of both sides of the issue of locker room access for transgender students based on rallied in Palatine. Harrisburg CUSD 3 schools carry out an intruder alert drill with local law enforcement. Mumps is reported among the students in Barrington CUSD 220. The Chicago Teachers Union is considering a one-day walk-out. Finally in the news, candidates “learn the ropes” during the IASB Egyptian Division Dinner Meeting. 

Groups speak out both for and against locker room access
for transgender students
Duaa Eldeib, Chicago Tribune, March 8

Intruder alert drill at Harrisburg schools was successful,
police chief says
Travis Deneal, Harrisburg Daily Register, March 8

Mumps cases at Barrington High now considered an outbreak
Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, March 8

CTU considering another one-day strike, this one on May 1
Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, March 9, 2017

School board candidates learn the ropes
Travis Morse, Mt. Vernon Register-News, March 6

March 9, 2017
Kiannah Sepeda-Miller and Sara Burnett, AP/State Journal-Register, March 7

Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, March 7

Alicia Fabbre, Naperville Sun, March 7

Tina Sfondeles, Chicago Sun-Times, March 8

Tina Sfondeles and Andy Grimm, Chicago Sun-Times, March 6

March 8, 2017
In today’s Leading News, WUIS’s Education Desk covers a referendum on the ballot in Taylorville CUSD 3, where the board has announced the cuts it will make if the referendum fails. High winds tear the roof from a CPS high school building. East Alton-Wood River CHSD 14 preps students for the SAT. With a new law in place, school districts undertake new training on treating asthma attacks. Finally in the news, Rockford-area public and private schools determine what can and can’t be worn to prom.

Taylorville Referendum Puts It All On The Line
Dusty Rhodes, Education Desk, NPR Illinois/WUIS, March 2

Benito Juarez school annex unusable when roof ripped off in storm
Stefano Esposito, Chicago Sun-Times, March 7

East Alton-Wood River High preps for Illinois’ newly mandated SAT test
Brittany Johnson, The Telegraph, Alton, March 6

Asthma training at schools helps ease attack fears
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald & Review, March 4

Prom police: Rockford schools crack down on revealing outfits
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, March 6

March 7, 2017
In today’s Leading News, Chicago native and Grammy-winner Chance the Rapper announces a $1 million donation to Chicago Public Schools, after an unusual meeting with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Midland CUSD 7 considers adding agriculture power and construction and metal fabrication classes. Lake Zurich CUSD 95 wants input on the community’s homeless situation.  Finally in the news, Sherrard CUSD 200 holds a community forum in anticipation of developing a new strategic plan.

Chance the Rapper writes $1 million check to CPS as a 'call to action'
Juan Perez Jr. and Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune, March 6

Chance the Rapper ‘flustered’ after meeting with Gov. Rauner
Sophia Tareen, Associated Press, State Journal-Register, Springfield, March 3

Midland looks at adding ag tech classes
Gary L. Smith, Journal Star, Peoria, February 26

District 95 wants to be in loop on homeless plan
Bob Susnjara, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, February 27

Community forum in Sherrard brings together
teachers, students with board members
Sarah Tisinger, WQAD, Quad Cities, March 4

March 3, 2017
In today’s Leading News, NPR examines the national charter school picture, while operators seek to develop more charters in Chicago. O'Fallon THSD 203 reverses some of its $1 million in budget cuts. Elgin based School District U-46 will retain its policy for transgender students. Finally in the news, Governor Bruce Rauner will meet today with Chicagoan and Grammy-award winning artist Chance the Rapper to talk about school funding.

Just What IS A Charter School, Anyway?
Claudio Sanchez, NPR Ed, March 1

Charters indicate plans to open 20 new Chicago campuses
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, March 1

O’Fallon IL School Board Reduces 2017-2018 Budget Cuts
Brett Blume, KMOX-TV, St. Louis, March 2

Transgender policy to stand in U46
Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, February 28

Rauner, Chance the Rapper to meet Friday
Haley BeMiller, Chicago Tribune, March 2

March 2, 2017
In today’s Leading News, the “grand bargain” for a state budget stalled Wednesday. The Quincy SD 172 school board looks with its community at questions of transportation and school names as it develops new facilities. Oak Park-River Forest HSD 200 seeks sanctuary district status. Finally in the news, the Decatur Herald and Review looks at unfunded pension costs.

Illinois Senate cancels budget votes; leader blames Rauner
Doug Finke, State Journal-Register, Springfield, March 1

Boundary forum raises questions about transportation to school sites
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, February 23

Board wants community input on K-5 school names
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, February 23

OPRF to seek sanctuary district status to protect immigrant students
Steve Schering, Pioneer Press/Oak Leaves, Oak Park, February 25

Unfunded pension debt costs school districts federal money
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, February 27

March 1, 2017
In today’s Leading News, Ottawa High School is closed Wednesday, and the school gym available as a shelter, after a tornado struck the town on Tuesday. A preliminary discussion regarding school uniforms in Barrington CUSD 220 was buttoned up. O'Fallon CCSD 90 plans to cut $1 million from its budget. Erica Nelson, president of the Glen Ellyn SD 41 school board, spoke up for education at a town hall meeting. Finally in the news, the Illinois Senate continues working on its budget plan.

'Felt the need to help in my heart':
Ottawa High opens as storm relief center
Brent Bader, Ottawa Times, February 28

District 220 school uniform discussion comes and goes
Doug T. Graham, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, February 22

Glen Ellyn town hall addresses education, Affordable Care Act
Eric Schelkopf, Shaw Media/Downers Grove, February 24

O’Fallon, Illinois school board votes to cut $1 million from budget
KMOV-TV, St. Louis, February 28

Illinois Senate tinkers with budget plan, but heavy lifting remains
Monique Garcia and Haley BeMiller, Chicago Tribune, February 28

The links to articles posted here are selected daily from news sources across Illinois, provided as a service to our membership. These links go directly to the original source (print, broadcast, or online media) that originated the article. The purpose of sharing these links is to give readers of this blog a wider perspective on state and local issues impacting public education. IASB neither endorses nor verifies the content.

Leading News Archives
February 2017