Leading News Archives May 2018

May 31, 2018
In today’s Leading News, the Illinois Senate voted by a wide margin to approve a state budget that would include the new funding formula’s $350 million in additional funds for K-12 education; the House is expected to vote today. In other action, the House sent the bill establishing a new minimum teacher salary of $40,000 to the Governor.  A proposed teacher contract in CHSD 128 (Vernon Hills) would include later start times. Teutopolis CUSD 50 considers policy changes regarding athletics and student absences due to vacations. In other news, Missouri considers a proposal that would require public schools to pay for private virtual schooling for some students.

Illinois Senate approves balanced, no-new-taxes budget
Doug Finke, State Journal-Register, Springfield, May 30

Illinois House sends governor bill raising teacher salaries
AP/State Journal-Register, Springfield, May 30

Later start times for Vernon Hills, Libertyville high school
included in proposed teachers contract
Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, May 30

Teutopolis changes athletic code, family vacation policies
Keith Stewart, Effingham Daily News, May 23

Public schools would have to pay for private virtual schools
under new Missouri plan
Kristen Taketa, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 29 


May 30, 2018
In today’s Leading News, the News-Gazette reports on the potential impact to rural school districts of Senate Bill 2892, which would set the minimum state teacher salary at $40,000. Oak Park-River Forest HSD 200 approves a revised equity policy to “to protect all of its students, regardless of their gender identity.” Dixon Unit SD 170 begins review and assessment of district response to the May 16 school shooting incident. Effingham CUSD 40 changes its grading scale. Finally in the news, NPR follows up on its reporting on the grant program -- designed to help teachers working in low-income schools – that was converting grants to loans. The U.S. DOE will undertake a review of the program.

Bill boosting teacher pay worries rural schools
Adalberto Toledo, News-Gazette, Champaign, May 29

Protections for transgender, gender nonconforming students approved
by Oak Park and River Forest school board
Steve Schering, Pioneer Press/Oak Leaves, Oak Park, May 26

Dixon schools begin to assess response to school shooting
Gavin T. Jensen, Sauk Valley Media, May 25

Effingham opts for new grading scale
Keith Stewart, Effingham Daily News, May 28

Education Department Launches 'Top-To-Bottom' Review
Of Teachers' Grant Program
Chris Arnold, NPR, May 22

May 29, 2018
In today’s Leading News, the countdown is on to Thursday’s state budget deadline. Indian Prairie CUSD 204 will use additional state funds to pay teachers more. ROE 33 seeks to provide mental health services to its districts. Summit Hill SD 161 aims to study a unit system and the acquisition of  Lincoln-Way CHSD 210’s closed high school. Also in the news, the end of the school year doesn’t end the teacher shortage.

Thursday state budget deadline looms
in first year of talks after historic stalemate
Kim Geiger, Chicago Tribune, May 25

How new state funding helps pay District 204 teachers
Marie Wilson, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 24

ROE 33 working to bring mental health help to schools
Robert Connelly, The Register-Mail, Galesburg, May 24

District 161 to study taking over Lincoln-Way North High School
Susan DeMar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, May 25

Central Illinois schools approach summer break facing teacher shortage
Alyssa Paldo, WMBD, Peoria, May 24

May 25, 2018
In today’s Leading News, the Illinois Senate has approved a bill that could offer property tax payers a charitable contribution workaround to the deduction cap of federal tax law. Meanwhile, a federal legislative proposal would “cancel” that federal tax law to pay teachers. The Associated Press looks at school shootings in “small-town America.” School resource officers talk about their work. Also in the news: understanding the teenage brain.


May 24, 2018
In today’s Leading News, WUIS’s Education Desk looks at the lawsuit, with additional school districts added this week, that claims the state is violating students’ rights by not allocating funds to meet adequacy targets. Lincoln-Way CHSD 210 establishes an all-student activity participation fee and a transportation charge. West Prairie SD 103 faces a potential legal situation after its valedictorian was allegedly not allowed to give religious content in a speech at graduation. A yearbook headline makes headlines and draws apologies. Finally in  the news, Decatur SD 61 approves a five-year strategic plan.

School Supts Sue State For $7.2 Billion
Dusty Rhodes, WUIS Education Desk, Springfield, May 22

Lincoln-Way approves flat $50 participation fee
for students, considers sales tax measure
Susan DeMar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, May 22

Valedictorian retains counsel after being denied ‘religious’ speech
Jared Du Bach, Galesburg Register-Mail, May 22

Oswego High School apologizes
after 'No one ugly allowed' headline appears
over photo of cheerleading team
Sarah Freishtat, The Beacon-News, Aurora, May 22

Decatur school board OKs new 5-year strategic plan for district
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, May 23


May 23, 2018
In today’s Leading News, the Illinois Superme Court considers the constitutionality of property tax exemptions for Illinois non-profits. Cambridge CUSD 227 will not switch to an at-large system of electing board members. A group seeks to lower the voting age for local elections. Winnetka SD 36 will keep its boundaries after public input. Finally in the news, the Sun-Times looks at the impacts of CPS’s 2013 school closings.

Illinois Supreme Court considers law
that allows hospital property tax exemptions
Dean Olsen, State Journal-Register, Springfield, May 22

Cambridge to keep rural representation on school board
Lisa Hammer, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, May 19

Group pushing to lower voting age to 16 for local elections
Ana Espinosa, WRSP, Springfield May 16

Winnetka District 36 drops plan to close neighborhood schools
after public outcry
Kathy Routliffe, Pioneer Press/Winnetka Talk, May 21

Study: CPS 2013 closings didn’t keep promises
of better academic opportunities
Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, May 21

May 22, 2018
In today’s Leading News, increased security will be on hand at East St. Louis SD 189 graduation in the wake of violence and unrest. Southern schools impacted by last week’s water crisis will not have to make up the resulting missed school days. Local media consider the tragic outcomes of the Illinois and Texas school shootings. A state appellate court decision regarding the definition of “infamous crime” allows a Hazel Crest SD 152.5 school board member to stay on. Also in the news, Pennoyer SD 79 seeks to educate and engage in anticipation of a referendum.

Fight during East St. Louis track meet is linked to track star's murder
Beth Hundsdorfer and George Pawlaczyk, Belleville News-Democrat, May 21

No penalty for schools affected by Rend Lake water disaster
Kyle Hinton, KFVS-TV, Cape Girardeau, May 21

Two school shootings, two different outcomes
Ted Gregory, Tribune/Sauk Valley News, May 20

Hazel Crest school board president with decades-old felony conviction
can continue to hold public office, court rules
Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown , Chicago and suburbs, May 20

... Pennoyer officials say they must clearly explain
why improvements are needed
Gianna Annunzio, Pioneer Press/Norridge News, May 17

May 21, 2018
In today’s Leading News, in action last week, the state legislature worked on several education-related bills, including an increase to the minimum teacher salary and allowing access to medical marijuana at schools. Urbana SD 116 considers changes to disciplinary policies. Elmhurst CUSD 205 engages its community on facilities and boundaries. Finally in the news, Harlem SD 122 honors a retiring custodian with a particularly appropriate designation.

Illinois Senate votes to raise teacher salaries
The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, May 17

IL Senate votes to give kids access to medical pot at schools
Tom Schuba, Chicago Sun-Times, May 17

Urbana school officials find a change
in disciplinary approach is in order
Lyndsay Jones, News-Gazette, Champaign, May 17

Elmhurst District 205 hosts community discussions
on facilities, boundary change proposals
Mary Stroka, Suburban Life Publications, May 17

Harlem school custodian to retire, gets cafeteria dedicated to him
Susan Vela, Rockford Register Star, May 16


May 17, 2018
In today’s Leading News, a school resource officer stopped a gunman at Dixon High School; the former student opened fire near where the school’s graduation rehearsal was taking place Wednesday morning. Also in the news, Teutopolis CUSD 50 considers adding a school resource officer, and the Bement CUSD 5 board votes to back a plan that would let districts to decide to allow armed teachers. A group offers “Healing Solutions” to students affected by gun violence. ISBE determined Wednesday it will appoint a special monitor to oversee CPS special education.

'Things could have gone much worse':
Charges filed against ex-student who exchanged gunfire
with officer at Dixon High School
Matthew Walberg, Chicago Tribune, May 17

UPDATE: Dixon High School shooting:
DHS students call ex-classmate, shooter a 'troublemaker'
Kathleen A. Schultz and Rachel Rodgers, Sauk Valley Media, May 16

Teutopolis schools mulling full-time SRO
Keith Stewart, Effingham Daily News, May 15

Bement board endorses concealed carry change
Steve Hoffman, Piatt County Journal Republican, May 15

How Schools Can Help Kids Traumatized By Gun Violence
Lee V. Gaines, NPR Illinois, May 15

State assumes sweeping authority over CPS special education practices
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, May 17


May 16, 2018
In today’s Leading News, Indian Prairie CUSD 204’s new custodial services deal will proceed with fewer custodial staff members. A Knox County mental health commission is expected to decline funding requests by school districts. Anticipating deficit spending, CCSD 89 (Glen Ellyn) reaches out to its community. Madison County considers the “unintended consequences” of a PTELL proposal. Finally in the news, Peoria Public Schools looks at developing a “whole child” approach.

District 204 will cut custodial staff to pay competitive wages
Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, May 9

708 Board expects to reject most school districts’ requests for funding
Robert Connelly, The Register-Mail, Galesburg, May 11

District 89 officials seek community feedback amid projected deficits
Eric Schelkopf, Suburban Life Publications, May 14

PTELL could have unintended consequences for county, voters
Scott Cousins, The Telegraph, Alton, May 8

Teaching the ‘whole child’ takes the whole community
at proposed wrap-around center for Peoria Public Schools
Pam Adams, Peoria Journal-Star, May 14


May 15, 2018
In today’s Leading News, the East St. Louis boys’ track and field team remains sidelined after a school board decision to reinstate the team is overturned; the district operates under a consent decree with the state. A Chicago Sun-Times story considers CPS school buildings hit by gunfire. After dozens of students from CHSD 230’s Andrews High School fell ill after their prom at Shedd Aquarium, health officials have determined the food was not the cause. Palatime SD 15 embarks on a dual-language program. Finally in the news, elementary students will be offered a smooth transition into junior high in Bloomington SD 87.

East St. Louis track season canceled
after state superintendent overrules school board
Todd Eschman, Belleville News-Democrat, May 15

Gunshots have struck 11 Chicago schools in the past five years,
records show
Robert Herguth, Chicago Sun-Times, May 11

Food at Shedd not reason more than 100 Andrew High students
got sick after prom: health officials
Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, Chicago suburbs, May 13

District 15 preparing to debut dual-language program
Bob Susnajara, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 9

District 87 plans day to ease junior high transition
Lenore Sobota, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, May 10


May 14, 2018
In today’s Leading News, a “broad range of changes" follows the review of CPS’s special education system. An estimated 200 students “Stand for the Second” at St. Charles North High School. Evanston officials say the statute of limitations prevents charging a teacher accused of sexual abuse in the 1980s and 1990s. McLean Co Unit District 5 hopes to attract and retain teachers with a contract that calls for higher base pay. Finally in the news, a bill was killed, but the safety concerns discussion about youth tackle football continues.

Officials say CPS special education policy violated federal law,
suggest 3 years of monitoring
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, May 11

Second Amendment rights walkout was 'most incredible moment'
for St. Charles high school organizers
Sarah Freishtat, The Beacon-News, Aurora, May 14

No charges for former Evanston teacher accused of sexual abuse
Ben Bradley, WGN-TV, May 9

Unit 5 Nudges Toward Salary Equity
Charlie Schlenker, WGLT, Normal, May 11

A youth tackle football state ban was sidelined,
but debate over safety is 'not going away'
Steve Sadin, Pioneer Press/Vernon Hills Review, May 7


May 11, 2018
In today’s Leading News, read about a partnership between Western Illinois ag students and Macomb CUSD 185 classrooms, hydroponic gardening feeding the dragons in Champiagn CUSD 4, green from the greenhouse in Warsaw CUSD 316, planting maples in Danville and oaks in Park Ridge, and a garden developing a sense of community in Round Lake CUSD 116.

School of Agriculture adopt second grade classroom
Marc Ramirez, Western Courier, April 27

Champaign schools' hydroponic-gardening program
enriching students, dragons
Lyndsay Jones, News-Gazette, Champaign, May 10

Warsaw High School using plant sale to benefit ag program
Patrick Doss, WGEM-TV, April 30

Students help Danville Garden Club maintain tree-planting tradition
Tracy Crane, News-Gazette, Champaign, April 28

Maine East High School marks Arbor Day
with tree climbing, planting of new oak
Jennifer Johnson, Pioneer Press/Park Ridge Herald Advocate, April 28

Lake County school garden program
forms 'a sense of community' at low-income schools
Sheryl DeVore, Lake County News-Sun, May 4


May 10, 2018
In today’s Leading News, the Courier-News reports that Elgin-based School District U46 teachers have scheduled a vote on a new contract. The legislature will consider a bill to fund repairs of the mine subsidence damage at the middle school at Wolf Branch SD 113. Hinsdale SD 86 decides changes focus to prioritize a referendum discussion. Virtual reality brings a new school to students, before it’s built.  Finally in the news, Century CUSD 100 in far southern Ullin gets good news about fine arts.

Teachers union, U46 reach tentative contract agreement, union says
Rafael Guerrero, The Courier-News, Elgin, May 10

Bill would allow Wolf Branch to borrow money to repair sinking school
Lexi Cortes, Belleville News-Democrat, May 8

Hinsdale District 86 Board puts off buffer zone discussion
to focus on referendum
Kimberly Fornek, Pioneer Press/The Doings, Hinsdale, May 8

VR tour of Franklin school building creates excitement 
Leon Lagerstam, Quad City Times, April 26

Century School District awarded was awarded grant
to design a new art curriculum
Isaac Smith, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, May 8


May 9, 2018
In today’s Leading News, Evanston THSD 202 adjusts student media policies after a confiscation controversy. Moline-Coal Valley SD 40 hears a progress report on a dual language program. DeKalb CUSD 428 updates its student celebration policy to continue seasonal celebrations and promote traditional symbols. Peoria Public Schools leaders call for moving away from one-size-fits-all teaching and learning, Finally in the news, learn about the proposed 150-minute change in P.E. requirements contained in a bill that passed the Illinois Senate.

Evanston student newspaper confiscation leads to policy change,
teacher's early retirement
Genevieve Bookwalter, Pioneer Press/Evanston Review, May 8

Dual language report heard by Moline school board
Nicole Lauer, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, May 7

DeKalb School District 428 Board approves
superintendent's school party proposals
Drew Zimmerman, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, May 4

State of the Schools: PPS more than a test score, says Desmoulin-Kherat
Pam Adams, Peoria Journal-Star, May 2

Illinois Lawmakers Consider Change
For Physical Education Requirements
Jaclyn Driscoll, NPR Illinois, May 7

May 8, 2018
In today’s Leading News, read several ongoing discussions on gun violence prevention and school safety measures. Florida schools now require armed security guards, but districts worry about the lack of qualified candidates. Efforts to allow teachers to carry firearms continue, in Illinois and nationally. Finally in the news, Associated Press reporting tells of firearm “mishaps” at schools.

Florida schools must now have armed guards,
but there are 2 key problems
State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 30

To carry or not to carry?
Maggie Hockenberry, WCIA, Champaign, May 7

Teachers line up for concealed-weapons class
Edith Brady-Lunny, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, May 1

Across the country, measures to arm teachers in schools stall
Hoe Heim, Washington Post/Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 4

AP review: More than 30 mishaps
from armed adults at schools
Ryan J. Foley and Larry Fenn, AP/The Pantagraph, Bloomington, May 5

May 7, 2018
In today’s Leading News, the McHenry County board asks school district officials to weigh in on property taxes. Research shows the community does not favor consolidation of districts in Woodford County. Homewood-Flossmoor CHSD 233 slows its tempo on additions to performing arts facilities. Highland Park-based THSD 113 looks at a “climate crisis” as teachers depart the district. Finally in the news, a new biomedical science course teaches crime-solving skills to Anna-Jonesboro CHSD 81 students.

McHenry County Board invites school districts
to discussion on cutting property taxes
Ed Komenda, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 1

2 Woodford Co. school districts oppose merger vote
Cheryl Wolfe, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, April 30

H-F board’s finance committee holds off
on first step for performing arts additions
Marilyn Thomas, Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle, May 1

District 113 exodus symptom of climate crisis,
Deerfield and Highland Park teachers say
Karen Berkowitz, Pioneer Press/Highland Park News, May 1

Anna-Jonesboro students to act as scientists
to solve fictitious death in new class
Marilyn Halstead, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, May 4

May 4, 2018
In today’s Leading News, the Rockford Register Star reports Winnebago CUSD 323 teachers have filed an intent to strike notice. Citing lack of location and evaluation plans, Champaign CUSD 4 denies a charter school proposal. West Aurora USD 129 considers the impact of social media on student discipline. Finally in the news, two school districts make the news for expanding tech initiatives for students.

Winnebago teachers say they plan to strike
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, May 3

Unit 4 denies proposed Champaign charter school
Lauren Kostiuk, WCCU, Champaign, May 2

Social media blamed for spike in West Aurora expulsions
Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, April 24

District 15 plans to expand laptop initiative for students
Bob Susnajara, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 27

Chromebooks coming to Knoxville schools
Robert Connelly, The Register-Mail, Galesburg, April 23

May 3, 2018
In today’s Leading News a bill that would require curricular inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender historical figures has passed the Illinois Senate. Do personal electronic devices increase the potential for student cheating? A student residency discussion continues DeKalb CUSD 428. Finally in the news, two national articles report on different perspectives of the teacher salary issue.

LGBT history requirement for public schools passes Illinois Senate
Maximilian Kwiatkowski, State Journal-Register, Springfield, May 2

CHEATING POTENTIAL: School districts watching personal technology
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, May 1

Residents claim 'false narrative' behind District 428 residency checks
Drew Zimmerman, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, April 30

Unionized Or Not, Teachers Struggle To Make Ends Meet,
NPR/Ipsos Poll Finds
 Anya Kamanetz and Clare Lombardo, NPR, May 2

High pension costs lurk behind US teacher push for more pay 
AP/Olney Daily Mail, May 1


May 2, 2018
In today’s Leading News, Bureau Valley CUSD 340 works to maintain its bus fleet amid rising costs and negative public perception. LaGrange SD 105 addresses community anxiety over a parolee living near an elementary school. Health departments are investigating after students attending a prom at Shedd Aquarium fell ill. A new administrative position at Morton SD is intended to organize and encourage extracurricular participation. Finally in the news, workplace environment and college life issues and consent discussions have been included in a sex education bill in the Illinois House.

‘Trying to keep this old fleet going’
Goldie Rapp, Bureau County Republican, April 27

Released from prison, 'Pine Village massacre' shooter
now lives across street from school in La Grange
Chuck Fieldman, Pioneer Press/LaGrange News, April 31

About 90 Chicago-area students ill
after prom at Shedd Aquarium, officials say
Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, May 1

New Morton administrator will focus on extra-curricular activities
Steve Stein, Peoria Journal Star, April 24

Illinois House passes amendment to law
 that adds consent to sexual education; bill heads to Senate
Dustin Duncan, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, April 28


May 1, 2018
In today’s Leading News, proponents of allowing teachers to carry guns in schools are heard at several school districts, including O’Fallon CCSD 90 where board members sought more time to study the issue. A proposal would allow PTELL county residents to propose referendums to lower property tax. Maine THSD 207 will end an American Indian-themed performance tradition after concerns were raised about the use of “stereotypical images as entertainment.” Finally in the news, will making schoolwork harder ease teens’ risky behavior?

Concealed carry for school staff discussed
Steve Hoffman, Piatt County Journal Republican, April 25

O'Fallon school board rejects resolution
on allowing teachers to carry guns
Robyn L. Kirsch, O’Fallon Progress, April 29

Proposal would let more voters try to cut property taxes
Doug Finke, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 22

Maine West High School retires American Indian mascot
following debate over use
John Keilman, Chicago Tribune, April 30

Worried About Risky Teenage Behavior? Make School Tougher
Austin Frakt, The Upshot/New York Times, April 30



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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.