Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Opinions on Education

The following are editorials and opinions regarding Illinois public education, collected in June 2015. Click on each headline to read more.

Our Opinion: Rauner correct to OK school payments
Posted Jun. 30, 2015
State Journal-Register, Springfield
The final day of the state fiscal year came and went Tuesday, with little if any movement toward a budget deal between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic legislative leaders.
If there is good news to be found, it’s that parents and school administrators statewide can rest a little easier knowing schools be able to open as scheduled this fall, even if the budget impasse continues – which is a very real possibility, given the ongoing sniping and political posturing among those in charge of the state. ...

School officers doing their job
Wed, 06/10/2015
Editorial, The News-Gazette, Champaign
Criticism of Champaign's school resource officers isn't borne out by the facts.
School resource officers will remain in five Champaign schools for another school year, thanks to a unanimous vote Monday by Unit 4 board members. Unfortunately, the board's vote did not come without the usual complaints that the SROs are really nothing more than agents of oppression who systematically seek out black youths for intimidation and arrest. ...

The taxpayers penalized again
JUNE 8, 2015
Editorial, Belleville News-Democrat 
Not many workers get 6 percent annual pay bumps in the four years before they retire, but it happens all the time for educators in Illinois, the better to boost their pensions. Hard to believe but this is an improvement. The raises used to be so out of control that 10 years ago the state created a penalty to discourage abuse. The penalties don’t always get the job done. In Southwestern Illinois, generosity with taxpayers’ money resulted in $1.8 million in penalties in the last decade. ...

Quick: Consent must be a part of sexual education
June 5, 2015
By Alee Quick, Opinion Column, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale
“It wasn’t rape or anything like that.” That’s what Jim Bob Duggar – the patriarch of the famous Duggar family of TLC’s “19 Kids & Counting” – told Megyn Kelly in an interview on Fox News Wednesday. He was talking about his eldest son, Josh Duggar, who fondled four of his sisters and a babysitter in 2002 and 2003. …  Jim Bob's statement is a perfect example of an attitude that has helped sexual assault become as pervasive as it is – one in five women and one in 17 men report experiencing rape – and has contributed to law enforcement and legislative indifference. ...

Illinois Civics Bill Heads to Governor's Desk
June 4, 2015
By Jessica Brown, Edweek blog
The Illinois Senate has approved legislation requiring that students take a civics course to graduate from high school. The bill, HB 4025, now goes to the governor for a signature. The proposed legislation, which passed with strong bipartisan support May 30, aims to ensure students leave high school knowing how to be informed and engaged citizens, according to a news release from the Illinois Civic Mission Coalition, a consortium of educators, administrators, students, universities, funders, and policymakers. The coalition is part of a national civics advocacy campaign. "The proposed legislation will help fill this civic education gap, and bring civics back to all our schools," states the coalition. ...

Rock Valley, Rockford School District need better Running Start pact
Posted Jun. 15, 2015 at 6:42 PM
By Chuck Sweeny, Rockford Register Star
I read the story in Sunday's newspaper about the Rockford School District's reluctance to send more than 30 students to Rock Valley College's Running Start program.  I was saddened by the defensiveness apparent in the comments of most officials connected with the district. They may no longer live inside the walls at Fort South Madison, but they still act as if they do. Maybe I'll start calling the new HQ Fort Seventh Street. …

Reeder: Ghosts in state payroll not a new phenomenon
June 11, 2015
Scott Reeder in the Northwest Herald
SPRINGFIELD – Way back, in 1973, then-Gov. Dan Walker hired a young Georgetown University graduate and others for his staff, but paid them with money from state agencies rather than from the governor’s office. The practice ruffled some feathers, as well it should. Folks in Springfield started calling them “ghost payrollers.” After all, it appeared Walker was trying to make it look like he was spending less money to run his office than he really was. …

Bourbonnais custodian epitomizes true meaning of role model
Posted: June 9, 2015
Editorial, The Daily Journal, Kankakee
The affirmation real role models are people who have regular contact with those they are making a positive effect on, came about again last week at Alan B. Shepard Elementary School in Bourbonnais. As the final days of the school year wound down, the students received their yearbooks and went about the time-honored tradition of having classmates, teachers and other Shepard personnel sign them. …

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