Leading News Archives April 2019

April 30, 2019
In today’s Leading News, the timing of a graduation ceremony raises questions in Rantoul City SD 137. In the wake of the Janus decision, a school employee is suing Moline-Coal Valley SD 40 over union dues. Homewood-Flossmoor CHSD 233 responds to students' “culturally insensitive” social media posts. Quincy SD 172 adopts a district improvement plan. Also in the news, conspiracy theories are up for discussion in Springfield SD 186 extracurriculars.

Jennifer Jensen, WCIA, Champaign, April 26

Cole Lauterbach, INN/The Telegraph, Alton, April 29

Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, April 30

Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, April 25

Ella Unal, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 28


April 29, 2019
In today’s Leading News, ISBE is working with the Illinois Department of Public Health to address the measles outbreak. Palatine school districts realize parts of a taxing zone surplus. Bloomington SD 87 amends its school-year budget. Kaneland CUSD 302 (Maple Park) and its transportation provider face a lawsuit. Also in the news, a Belleville THSD 201 group creates an uplifting sculpture.

NBC 5, Chicago, April 26

Bob Susnjara, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 23

Lenore Sobota, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, April 25

Brenda Schory, Kane County Chronicle, April 25

Mike Koziatek, Belleville News-Democrat, April 24

April 26, 2019
In today’s Leading News, CHSD 128 with schools in Libertyville and Vernon Hills has reached a contract agreement with its teachers. An inspector general raises questions about possible under-reporting of sexual misconduct by CPS charter school operators. School board seats were determined by the flip of a coin in Bensenville SD 2 and Tri-City CUSD 1 in Buffalo. Also in the news, thinking big: Decatur SD 61 elementary students experience potential careers via big trucks.

Russell Lissau, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 23

Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, April 24

Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 19

Bernard Schoenburg, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 24

Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, April 18

April 25, 2019
In today’s Leading News, a hazardous materials incident has closed school districts in Beach Park. A CPS high school will keep its auto body repair program running. Champaign CUSD 4 proceeds with facilities work despite cost overruns. Charleston CUSD 1 talks about its school calendar and holiday waivers. Also in the news, funds for safer paths to schools.

Lee Filas, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 25

Jessica Villagomez, Chicago Tribune, April 14

Lyndsay Jones, News-Gazette, Champaign, April 24

Dave Fopay, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, April 15

AP/ Belleville News-Democrat, April 24

April 24, 2019
In today’s Leading News, go to class or don’t pass: attendance will be required to pass a course in Bradley-Bourbonnais CHSD 307.  Students learning about building trades help build school facilities in Metro East. Energy projects are coming to several midstate school districts. Quincy SD 61 announces plans to move students into new facilities. Also in the news, an IDOT program sends trees to schools.

Laura McElroy, Daily Journal, Kankakee, April 16

Kavahn Mansouri, Belleville News-Democrat, April 15

Robert Connelly, The Register-Mail, Galesburg, April 15

Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, April 16

AP/Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, April 22


April 23, 2019
In today’s Leading News, census estimates show Illinois metropolitan areas losing residents. WBEZ reports on a “spending standoff” between CPS and its charter school operators. A vintage building hosts the latest tech in Wethersfield CUSD 230. Also in the news, Elgin-based SD U-46 will offer more dual credit with Elgin Community College.

Jeff D'Alessio, News-Gazette, Champaign, April 18

Cecilia Reyes, Angie Leventis Lourgos, Chicago Tribune, April 18

Sarah Karp, WBEZ, Chicago, April 18

Dave Clarke, Star Courier, Kewanee, April 17

Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 16


April 22, 2019
In In today’s Leading News, a bill would lower the ages of kindergarten entrance, which would affect the practice known as “redshirting.” Lincoln Land Community College plans a “multiple measures” approach, including high school GPA, to class placement. The discussion of the teacher shortage in Illinois includes issues of the cost and “restrictive nature” of licensure tests. Charleston CUSD 1 will add middle school students to its special education program for students with emotional disabilities. Also in the news, school safety improvement measures are underway in Bloomington-area schools.

Proposed law would require Illinois children to start school by age 5,
threatening kindergarten redshirting
Nara Schoenberg, Chicago Tribune, April 18

LLCC will take new approach to placing students in college-level courses
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 17

Tests, costs may be making Illinois’ teacher shortage worse
Cassie Buchman, Peoria Journal-Star, April 17

Charleston school board approves emotional disabilities program
for middle school
Dave Fopay, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, April 17

A matter of trust:
Central Illinois schools update safety measures, active shooter drills
Kelsey Watznauer, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, April 22

April 18, 2019
In today’s Leading News, vaping is causing serious health risks for children and serious discipline and security problems for school districts. An investigation is underway after a January incident at a CPS high school. A new policy may be in the works after a substitute teacher was elected to the school board. ISBE discusses the teacher shortage, including preparation and testing requirements. With bills before the state House and Senate, districts raise questions about a minimum salary for teachers. Also in the news, the anniversary of the Columbine tragedy brings renewed conversation about student mental health and school safety.

Kavahn Mansouri, Belleville News-Democrat, April 15

Rosemary Sobol and Elvia Malagon, Chicago Tribune, April 17

Christopher Placek, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 16

Dusty Rhodes, WUIS Education Desk, Springfield, April 18

Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree, Jacksonville Journal-Courier, April 16

AP/State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 16


April 17, 2019
In today’s Leading News, as school districts across the nation remember the Columbine tragedy 20 years later, many Colorado schools, including Columbine, are closed today after the FBI announced a credible threat had been made. School districts are among those joining the Illinois State Police in getting motorists to obey Scott’s Law to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles at roadsides. A mural is removed from school walls in Oak Park ESD 97. Also in the news, NPR Illinois’ Education Desk looks at the whys and why-nots of school district consolidation discussions.

Columbine attack shapes schools, families 20 years later
Kathleen Foody, Allen G. Breed, and P. Solomon Banda, AP/The Telegraph, Alton, April 16

Denver Area Schools Closed As Authorities Search
For 'Armed And Dangerous' Woman
James Doubek, NPR, April 17

Flyer promoting ‘Move Over’ law distributed to schools
AP/Belleville News-Democrat, April 16

Historic WPA mural featuring only white children
removed from Oak Park school
Manny Ramos, Chicago Sun-Times, April 15

Mascots, Money Or Math: What Stops School Consolidation?
Dusty Rhodes, WUIS Education Desk, Springfield, April 11


April 16, 2019
In today’s Leading News, a group has dropped its federal lawsuit that challenged a THSD 211 decision to allow transgender students to use facilities that correspond with their gender identity. The Illinois House has approved a bill requiring the teaching of work ethic in schools. Crescent-Iroquois CUSD 249 voters rejected a plan to merge with Iroquois Co CUSD 9 in Watseka. Niles THSD 219 will take a look at its policies allowing home-schooled individuals to participate in extracurricular activities. Also in the news, Decatur SD 61 students read to babies.

Parents abruptly drop lawsuit
over transgender student locker room access
at suburban school district
Elyssa Cherney, Chicago Tribune, April 16

Illinois House passes bill calling for teaching work ethics in schools
CNI/Northwest Herald, April 11

Small Crescent-Iroquois moves forward
Phil Angelo, Daily Journal, Kankakee, April 13

After a parent highlights inconsistencies,
Niles Township 219 to explore policy on home-schooled athletes
Phil Rockrohr, Pioneer Press/Skokie Review, April 12

Here's how French Academy is encouraging literacy
by letting students read to babies 
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, April 10


April 15, 2019
In today’s Leading News, Quincy SD 172 and the University of Illinois partner to fill social work staffing needs. Suburban school districts push back against required physical education minutes. In Moline-Coal Valley SD 40, a new athletic center is underway. East High School in Belleville THSD 201 celebrates its drumline success. Also in the new, additional fines may be on the way for drivers who pass stopped school buses.

QPS working with U of I to spread word
about social work opportunities
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, April 13

West suburban school districts cry foul over proposed PE mandate,
saying it will cost millions and cut academic classes
Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, April 12

Moline-Coal Valley: $14 million phys ed facility moves forward
Nicole Lauer, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, April 9

Belleville East drumline was top-ranked nationally.
Then, they exceeded expectations.
Lexi Cortes, Belleville News-Democrat, April 9

lllinois House approves doubling fines
for drivers who pass stopped school buses
Grant Morgan, CNI/Kendall County Now, April 12


April 12, 2019
Leading into the weekend with Friday's Leading News, some CPS schools face another charter school teachers strike. Chinese President Xi Jinping responded to a letter from Niles North students. Monticello CUSD 25 looks at tech upgrades. Batavia PSD 101 hits high notes in music education. Also in the news, discussion of a minimum teachers’ salary continues in Illinois.

CTU members threaten strike at 5 more charter schools
Mitchell Armentrout, Chicago Sun-Times, April 11

A Niles North Chinese language class wrote
to President Xi Jinping. He responded.
Steve Sadin, Pioneer Press/Skokie News, April 9

Tech upgrades approved by school board
Steve Hoffman, Piatt County Journal-Republican, April 3

Batavia School District's music education program
receives national recognition
Kane County Chronicle, April 4

Proponents say $40K minimum salary
for Illinois teachers would help address shortages
Grant Morgan, CNI/State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 10

April 11, 2019
In today’s Leading News, a few more follow-ups to last week’s elections, including a youth movement in some school board contests.

Kimberly Fornek, Pioneer Press/The Doings, Hinsdale, April 9

Karen Ann Cullotta, Pioneer Press/Winnetka Talk, April 6

Shea Lazansky, Kendall County Now, April 8

Robert Sanchez, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 5

Kavahn Mansouri, Highland News-Leader, April 7

Doug T. Graham and Katlyn Smith, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 4


April 10, 2019
In today’s Leading News, an Eastern Illinois University program allows future teachers to experience small, rural districts. School District U-46, based in Elgin, moves towards a contract with its teachers. Peoria Public Schools decides against changing school start times. Champaign CUSD 4 practices for emergency relocation and reunification. Also in the news, Rock Island/Milan SD 41 describes its resources for working with speakers of 31 different languages.

Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, April 7

Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 8

Scott Hilyard, Journal Star, Peoria, April 1

Lyndsay Jones, News-Gazette, Champaign, April 9

Leon Lagerstam, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, March 25


April 9, 2019
In today’s Leading News, a small community deals with the closing of a school within Bureau Valley CUSD 340. Hawthorn SD 73 presents cuts to staffing to meet its budget. Oak Park ESD 97 discusses race relations. A bill in the Illinois House would start college savings accounts for newborns. Also in the news, Bloomington-Normal area schools introduce students to career options.

10 million dollar school consolidation stirs up emotions in community
Lauren Jackson, WQAD, Moline, April 3

Hawthorn School District 73 looks to balance budget
by cutting support staff, expenses
Rick Kambic, Pioneer Press/Vernon Hills Review, April 1

'We want to focus on this word':
Oak Park District 97 hosts session addressing race relations
Megann Horstead, Pioneer Press/Oak Leaves, Oak Park, April 1

House bill would start college savings accounts
for all newborns in Illinois
By Peter Hancock, CNI/Chicago Sun-Times, April 4

'What's best for you':
B-N high schools expand opportunities for college, career
Kelsey Watznauer, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, April 6


April 8, 2019
In today’s Leading News, proposed legislation would require a consent component at Illinois schools that offer sex education. The Illinois House on approved a bill providing for an elected school board for CPS. An early adopter of the county school facilities sales tax considers repayment options after a lawsuit. Ewardsville CUSD 7 teachers and staff take part in security drills. Also in the news, a change in traffic flow for a Quincy SD 172 school.

Beyond 'no means no':
Proposed Illinois law would require school sex education programs
to include more complete lessons about consent
Kate Thayer, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, April 5

Illinois House approves bill creating elected Chicago school board —
an idea Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot supports
Dan Petrella, Chicago Tribune, April 5

Lawsuit against school district could cost taxpayers
Emily Manley, WSIL-TV, Carterville

District 7 employees take part in active intruder training
Julia Biggs, The Telegraph, Alton, April 2

Change in morning drop-off at QJHS designed to boost student safety
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, April 1


April 5, 2019
In today’s Leading News, as some school districts are working to determine “what’s next” after referendums are voted down, the Belleville News-Democrat looks at low voter turnout for last Tuesday’s consolidated election

April 4, 2019
In today’s Leading News, read more reports on Tuesday’s consolidated election results, including an "adequacy level" ballot question that was rejected by the Lisle CUSD 202 community. Referendums were voted down in Iroquois West CUSD 10 and Winnetka SD 36. Smithton CCSD 130 voters approved a $5 million facilities referendum. Also in the news, Chicago’s mayor-elect plans to talk about an elected school board for CPS, among other topics, in Springfield.

Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 2

Wendy Davis, Iroquois County Times-Republic, April 2

Karen Ann Cullotta, Pioneer Press/Winnetka Talk, April 2

Lexi Cortes and Kavahn Mansouri, Belleville News-Democrat, April 2

Tina Sfondeles, Chicago Sun-Times, April 2


April 3, 2019
In today’s Leading News, read the first takes on education-related education measures on yesterday's ballots.

With sports programs on the line,
Hinsdale voters approve $140 million referendum ...
John Keilman, Chicago Tribune, April 3

District 220 building expansion vote looks like a 'no'
Marni Pyke, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 3

Tazewell County voters defeat school facilities sales tax again
Steve Stein, Journal Star, Peoria, April 2

Sales tax for schools rejected in Effingham County
Fayette County approves the measure to help schools
Kaitlin Cordes, Effingham Daily News, April 3

Voters approve expansion, update of Unity Elementary School
Steve Eighinger, Herald-Whig, Quincy, April 3


April 2, 2019
In today’s Leading News, read how a Decatur elementary art class was made available by a grant. Chicago administrators and teachers are hearing details of a new five-year plan emphasizing “academic progress, financial stability and integrity.” Some Neoga students are taught via interactive Promethean boards, while others are building video game consoles, and using computer-guided metal cutting tools. The Quincy board is looking at stepping back to weigh broader issues at a board retreat led by an IASB facilitator. Lawmakers seeking to change what constitutes a full school day has had some unintended consequences for Illinois school districts seeking to set next year’s school calendar.

Sangamon Valley draws up art class with grant from Delta Kappa Gamma
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, March 31

Neoga schools adding to academic programs
Rob Stroud, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, March 29

School Board looking at 'how we're going to get where we need to be'
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, March 27

Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson unveils 5-year vision
Mitchell Armentrout, Chicago Sun-Times, March 27

Next year’s school calendar in flux as Amboy waits for decision from state
Bonnie Morris, Amboy News, Mar 26