Leading News Archives January 2018

January 31, 2018
In today’s Leading News, the State Board of Education has decided to hire “storytellers” to highlight the positive work being done in public schools across the state. The Quincy School District will offer free breakfast and lunch for all students at three schools beginning next school year. Two central Illinois school districts are awaiting the results of a consolidation feasibility study before deciding how to proceed. Ten districts have been chosen for a pilot program to test competency-based graduation requirements. A northern Illinois school is the latest to fall victim to the flu outbreak, cancelling classes for nearly the entire week.

Illinois State Board of Education to hire ‘storytellers’
John O’Connor, AP, State-Journal Register, January 30

Quincy School District to offer free breakfast,
lunch at three QPS schools beginning in 2018-19

Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, January 26

School boards await consolidation feasibility study

Cheryl Wolfe, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, January 29

Suburban districts testing new ways to help students learn, graduate
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 27

North Riverside school closes for remainder of week due to flu outbreak
Chicago Sun-Times, January 30

January 30, 2018
In today’s Leading News, there is reportedly a “glitch” that will again delay distribution of school funding under the new law?  Champaign CUSD 4 educators use current events to teach about democracy and government. West Prairie SD 103 reaches out to its community on finances and facilities. CHSD 155 based in Crystal Lake develops a public information plan. Winnebago CUSD 323 seeks a referendum to approve funding for facilities improvements.

State officials find another school funding glitch
Doug Finke, State Journal-Register, Springfield, January 30

Amid current events, local educators focus on Democratic process
Lyndsay Jones, News-Gazette, Champaign, January 30

West Prairie discusses finances, facilities at third Impact 103 meeting
Christopher Ginn, McDonough County Voice, January 26

District 155 commits to posting more public information online by March
Mike Mallory, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 25

Winnebago Community School District Holds
7.5 Millions Bond Referendum Forum
Jerrica Valtierra, WQRF, Rockford, January 19 

January 29, 2018
In today’s Leading News, late last week Governor Bruce Rauner and ISBE reached an agreement, to allow more private schools to enroll in the new tax-credit scholarship program, that may open up the implementation of the new school funding formula. Earlier that same day, private school responses  included that the program “rushed;” meanwhile public school districts are awaiting state funds. Also on Friday, Community High School District 94 (West Chicago) teachers voted to authorize a strike, but did not set a date. Finally in the news, the Tribune looks at a proposed state law that would ban tackle football for children under 12.

Rauner agrees to tax-credit scholarship fixes
to free up public school funding
Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, January 26

Private School Official Says
Tax Credit Scholarship Program Is Rushed
Lee V. Gaines, Illinois Public Media, January 24

District 7 waiting on state payments
Julia Biggs, The Intelligencier, Edwardsville, January 26

West Chicago High School teachers authorize strike
Katlyn Smith, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 26

Proposal would ban tackle football for kids under 12;
some experts, coaches question approach
John Keilman and Ese Olumhense, Chicago Tribune, January 24

January 26, 2018
In today’s Leading News, Monticello CUSD 25 seeks additional security measures for its facilities. Districts discuss the recently released state science tests. A Cook County judge, citing ruled against a THSD 211 student’s request for equal access to school locker-room facilities. Finally in the news, Elgin-based School District U-46 discussed equity within its schools, specifically data showing disciplinary actions impacting an “overrepresentation” of black students.

Camera systems planned for MHS, MMS
Steve Hoffman, Piatt County Journal Republican, January 23

Local officials: Science test not an accurate barometer
Jarad Jarmon, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston and Mattoon, January 19

Report card is in for 2016 Illinois Science Assessment
Noelle McGee, News-Gazette, Champaign, January 22

Transgender student who sued Palatine school district
over locker room access loses round in court
Steve Schmadeke, Chicago Tribune, January 25

U-46 leaders discuss racial equity, student discipline
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 23

January 25, 2018
In today’s Leading News, Community High School District 94 (West Chicago) teachers may vote Friday to authorize a strikeThe Southern Illinoisan looks at local education under the current federal administration. A program is bringing online Advanced Placement offerings to rural schools. The CPS Board of Education approves Janice Jackson as its new CEO. Finally in the news, a new smartphone app will answer the question “Where’s the bus?” for Springfield SD 186.

West Chicago High School teachers prepare for Friday strike vote
Katlyn Smith, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 24

Local educators say there has been little movement in education
during Trump's first year

Isaac Smith, The Southern Illinoisan, January 24

New Pilot Program Brings AP Classes To Rural Schools
Lee V. Gaines, Illinois Public Media, January 23

School board approves new CPS CEO
and ethics change to clear way for top deputy
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, January 24

Bus location app could launch in Springfield next school year
Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, January 24

January 24, 2018
In today’s Leading News, Governor Bruce Rauner makes proposals to cut the state’s deficit. Peoria Public Schools votes to schedule later start times for Professional Learning Communities. CPS installs washers and dryers to assists students. IMSA – the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora – has closed for the week, and students were sent home, due to a flu outbreak. Also in the news, two students are dead and five others in critical condition after yesterday's school shooting in Kentucky.

Rauner says he will propose income tax cut;
'wasteful spending' will curb deficit 
John O’Connor, AP/The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, January 22

PPS approves early dismissal for high schools,
firearms for security officers
Pam Adams, Peoria Journal-Star, January 22

Six Chicago public schools getting washers and dryers
to help students in need
Amanda Svachula, Chicago Sun-Times, January 20

IMSA flu closure unprecedented, official says
Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, January 24

Surviving students share terrifying stories of Kentucky shooting
The Southern Illinoisan, January 24, 2017

January 23, 2018
In today’s Leading News, a religious studies assignment continues to draw comment in the Elgin-based U-46 community. In Mount Vernon, THSD 201 hears unofficial comment on the formation of a Gay Straight Alliance club. Chicago Public Schools considers “underused” buildings, and CHSD 155 (Crystal Lake) may close a campus. Finally in the news, an online charter school in Ohio shuts down, shifting students to public school districts.

Dozens protest religion-themed assignment in Elgin-area U46 school
Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, January 23

Social media backlash follows formation
of Gay Straight Alliance Club in Mt. Vernon
Taylor Clark, KFVS, Cape Girardeau, Mo., January 22

CPS releases data on how schools use their space, saying 200+ are underused
Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, January 19

Crystal Lake-based School District 155
considers closing Haber Oaks Campus
Mike Mallory, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 19

ECOT closing: Sponsor votes to shut online school
after state rejects settlement offer
Patrick O'Donnell, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland (Ohio), January 18

January 22, 2018
In today’s Leading News, ten school districts are participating in a competency-based learning program. Community organizations encourage Aurora USD 131 to become an immigration safe zone. DeKalb CUSD 428 went on soft lockdown during final exams after reports of a gun on campus. Danville CCSD 118 looks at adding a fall break to its school-year calendar. Finally in the news, school districts in five counties can apply for a grant for students to visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.

Illinois schools test approach that lets students learn at own pace
The Associated Press, Peoria Journal-Star, January 20

East Aurora schools urged to be immigration 'safe zone'
Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, January 18

Report of gun seen on bus leads to lockdown at DeKalb High School
Drew Zimmerman, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, January 19

District 118 considers adding fall break
Carol Roehm, Danville Commercial-News, January 17

Grants will help students from Macon, other counties pay for trip
to Lincoln museum
AP/Decatur Herald and Review, January 18

January 19, 2018
In today’s Leading News, the Rockford Register-Star examines the impacts of Illinois new tax credit scholarship program. Speaking of taxes, state Treasurer Mike Frerichs cautions against claiming tax breaks for using 529 college savings plans for private K-12 expenses. A settlement is in the works after a student sued CHSD 155 over alleged infringement of First Amendment rights. The Pantagraph reports that McLean Co Unit District 5 school board is looking into possibly improper payments to coaches. Finally in the news, Illinois Science Assessment scores – from 2016 – are released.

Rockford private schools prepare for influx of public funds, students
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, January 18

Frerichs: Can’t get tax break for using college savings plan
on private K-12 tuition
Brenden Moore, State Journal-Register, Springfield, January 18

Cary-Grove senior sues school board, alleging free speech stifled
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 12

Tentative settlement in Cary-Grove student's lawsuit
against District 155 is pending board approval
Mike Mallory, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 19

Officials: Payments to Normal West coaches violated IHSA bylaws
Julia Evelsizer and Randy Kindred, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, January 14

'What am I going to do with ... scores from two years ago?'
State finally releases 2016 science test results
Diane Rado, Chicago Tribune, January 16

January 18, 2018
In today’s Leading News, the Illinois State Board of Education voted to request double the funds – asking for $7.5 billion -- for Illinois public schools. Members of the Springfield SD 186 school board expect to see a one-cent school facilities sales tax question on Sangamon County ballots this year. A group of Illinois lawmakers is working to ensure Illinois can get a share of the federal funds to establish high-speed internet in schools. Also in the news, the News-Gazette reports on the number of Illinois high school graduates heading out-of-state for college.

State Board of Education: Double School Funding Now
Linda Lutton, WBEZ, Chicago, January 17

ISBE recommends $15B school funding budget,
double what state paid last year
Rachel Droze and Emily Manley, WICS, Springfield, January 17

Lopez: ‘It’s a given’ board will pursue sales tax hike
for Springfield school fixes
Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, January 17

Senators announce plan to connect rural schools to high-speed internet
Alton Telegraph, January 17

Record number of Illinois college freshmen heading out of state
Julie Wurth, News-Gazette, Champaign, January 13

January 17, 2018
In today’s Leading News, several media outlets have published follow-up articles with ISBE and local reaction to last week’s veto by Governor Bruce Rauner of a trailer bill, a veto that delays implementation of Illinois’ school funding model. Also in the news, fighting the flu and the student absences it causes in Illinois school districts.

State education board says Rauner veto ’caused disruption to agency’
Tina Sfondeles, Chicago Sun-Times, January 12

Education Board Calls for Swift Action on School Funding
Dusty Rhodes, WUIS Education Desk, Springfield, January 3

Elgin-area schools upset with Rauner veto of education funding bill
Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, January 12

Misters help Decatur public schools fight flu 
Jalyn Cook, Decatur Herald and Review, January 13

Schools hope winter break helped high flu related absence numbers
Megan Braa and Elizabeth Donald, Belleville News-Democrat, January 12

January 16, 2018
In today’s Leading News, the Tribune looks at competency-based learning at Proviso East High School (Proviso THSD 209). Illinois’ U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth announce funding for Head Start programs in southern Illinois. Peoria Public Schools considers reinstating the district police force. Galesburg SC 205 explains how it will turn community engagement into action. Finally in the news, a student’s prizewinning proposal would change how required drivers ed hours are reported.

Illinois high schools test different,
often controversial, approach to education
Diane Rado, Chicago Tribune, January 12

Durbin, Duckworth announce more than $2 million
for Head Start programs in Southern Illinois
Dustin Duncan, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, January 10

Peoria Public Schools seeks to revive its police force
Pam Adams, Peoria Journal-Star, January 10

District 205 shapes plan based on forum results
Mitch Prentice, The Register-Mail, Galesburg, January 8

Senior wins scholarship with law proposal
Kevin Solari, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, January 9

January 12, 2018
In today’s Leading News, Rock Island/Milan SD 41 decides to keep two-week breaks, start the academic year “August zero.” A suburban family has filed suit to allow a child to use medical marijuana at school. Indian Prairie CUSD 204 will move 200-plus students to ease overcrowding in some buildings. The Normal-based Illinois Heart and Lung Foundation will place (AED) defibrillators in rural school facilities. Finally in the news, after props and sets for their "Seussical" show were stolen, the show will go on for Harrisburg CUSD 3 performers with the help of theater communities.

Rock Island school board keeps two-week breaks
Nicole Lauer, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, January 10

Robert McCoppin, Chicago Tribune, January 11

D204 board approves relocating 215 students to relieve overcrowding
Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, January 9

Foundation to help with more AEDs in schools
Paul Swiech, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, January 9

Stolen props won't stop southern Illinois high school
from putting on musical
Marilyn Halstead, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, January 8

January 11, 2018
In today’s Leading News, questions arise over the list of private schools eligible for the new tax credit scholarship program. West Chicago SD 94’s teachers union has declared an impasse in negotiations. The severe flu season continues in Illinois. Legal questions follow as CPS's seeks to name a board member to the COO position. Finally in the news, Quincy SD 172 considers policy service upgrades

Democrat backs Rauner’s scholarship veto,
but gov’s school list raises questions
Tina Sfondeles and Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, January 10

West Chicago District 94 teachers a step closer to going on strike
Katlyn Smith, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 11

Flu kills Illinois fourth-grader,
at least the fourth death from the virus this season
Elizabeth Donald, Belleville News-Democrat, January 9

Appointment of Chicago school board member to top CPS post
conflicts with law
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, January 10

QPS Policy Committee looks at upgrading policy subscription service
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, January 9

January 10, 2018
In today’s Leading News, read more coverage of the veto by Governor Bruce Rauner of the bill that would establish distribution of state funds under the new funding formula. Fieldcrest CUSD 6 discusses how to best use its facilities. The Flossmoor SD 161 school board continues discussion of a possible home rule agreement. Finally in the news, can animal-assisted therapy help students undergoing stress?

Gov Vetoes School Funding Trailer Bill
Dusty Rhodes, WUIS Education Desk, Springfield, January 9

Cash-strapped schools continue to wait for state funding
Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, January 9

Fieldcrest debate: Fix four old schools or build one?
Craig Sterrett, LaSalle County News Tribune, January 6

District 161 board members voice concerns about home rule plan
R.L. Anderson, Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle, December 26

How animal-assisted therapy helps students cope with anxiety
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, December 30

January 9, 2018
In today’s Leading News, Governor Rauner vetoed an education funding bill due to concerns of some private schools, however, sponsors of the bill say the proposed changes could cause problems with the distribution of new education dollars. A western Illinois district has created an advisory committee to look at the connection between healthcare and chronic absenteeism. One school district is working to accommodate a new state law by formalizing a policy to provide private spaces for student moms who want to breastfeed. Finally in the news, Washington Central School District is proposing a referendum to expand their school facilities to meet a 33 percent increase in enrollment.

Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, January 8

School districts prepared to accommodate breastfeeding teens
Valerie Wells, Herald & Review, Decatur, January 6

$12 million referendum on ballot in Washington’s Central School District
Steve Stein, Peoria Journal Star, January 7

January 8, 2018
In today’s Leading News, CUSD 308 (Oswego) considers raising its driver’s education fee. North Greene USD 3 plans to request a waiver regarding posting of a statement of affairs. Quincy Public Schools discusses adding agriculture classes to junior high curriculum offerings. Monticello CUSD 25 hopes the third time is the charm for a referendum. Finally in the news, Channahon SD 17 sent reimbursements to taxpayers after the district declared a surplus of funds.

SD308 board to hold public hearing over raising driver's ed fee
Shea Lazansky, Kendall County Now, January 3

North Greene looking at school code waiver
Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree, Jacksonville Journal Courier, January 4

QPS looking to expand ag program
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, December 29

School districts third referendum attempt could bring big improvements
Erick Payne, WCIA-TV, Champaign, December 23

Channahon District 17 residents received tax reimbursement
Jon Styf, Herald-News, Joliet, December 24

January 5, 2018
In today’s Leading News, West Chicago-based Community High School District 94 returns to negotiations with its teachers union. Oak Park ESD 97 is developing policy towards “the elimination of bias, particularly racism and cultural bias, as factors impacting student achievement and learning opportunities.” The new CPS CEO faces tough decisions, among them critical complaints about the district’s special education system. Finally in the news, several states are considering legislation that would require public school systems to teach media literacy skills.

West Chicago High negotiators returning to the bargaining table
after holiday break 
Katlyn Smith, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 4

Oak Park District 97 board works on equity policy
aimed at eliminating bias and racism 
Heather Cherone/Pioneer Press/Elmwood Park Elm Leaves, January 3

'Tough decisions' needed to confront issues facing CPS,
incoming CEO says
Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, January 3

Progressive Caucus to try again to force special ed hearing
Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, January 3

Efforts grow to help students evaluate what they see online
Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press/U.S. News and World Report, December 31

January 4, 2018
In today’s Leading News, the Illinois Community College Board is seeking alternative credentialing methods for high school equivalency. A federal judge has ruled that Palatine THSD 211 can continue to allow transgender students access to bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice. Below-zero wind chills have closed school districts statewide today; others are in session despite water problems resulting from the cold. Investigation continues and security has been increased after a shooting last month outside a Champaign CUSD 4 building. Finally in the news, Illinois’ new tax credit for donations to private school scholarships opened on Tuesday; $36 million was pledged on the first day. 

State plans to offer more ways to gain high school equivalency
Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Springfield, January 2

Judge refuses to order Palatine school district
to suspend transgender policy
Chicago Tribune, January 3

Some area schools cancel classes in response to boil order, cold weather
Lexi Cortes, Belleville News-Democrat, January 3

Schools taking precautions in wake of December shooting
outside Central
Tracy Crane, News-Gazette, Champaign, January 2

Private Schools Attract $36 Million Via Tax Credit Program
Dusty Rhodes, WUIS Education Desk, Springfield, January 3

January 3, 2018
In today’s Leading News, a county schools facilities sales tax question will be on the March ballot in Madison County. Plans to close four CPS high schools cause uncertainty for students. A settlement has been reached after allegations of hazing at Lake Zurich High School. Dual credit courses will be offered with grants at Monmouth-Roseville CUSD 238. Finally in the news, a look at colleges recruiting students away from Illinois.

Scott Cousins. The Telegraph, Alton, December 28

Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, December 21

Doug T. Graham, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, December 22

Andy Bell-Baltaci, Review Atlas, Monmouth, December 25

By Kevin Solari, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, December 12

January 2, 2018
In today’s Leading News, ISBE announces applications for grants for academically focused after-school programs for schools with low-income student populations. Highland CUSD 5 considers the impact of increases in early graduation numbers on state funding. Canton Union District 66 aims for an innovative elementary curriculum. Pekin CHSD 303 offers a “state of the district” event. Finally in the news, fretting over fractions?

Schools can vie for $12 million for after-school programs
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, December 28

Increase in early graduation
could mean decrease in state money for Highland
Megan Braa, Belleville News-Democrat, December 28

Board discusses innovations in elementary education
Larry Eskridge, Canton Daily Ledger, December 22

Pekin High invites city to State of the District event
Michael Smothers, Pekin Daily Times, December 26

Are fractions outmoded?
Retired engineer says measurement method half-baked
John Keilman, Chicago Tribune, December 30

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
Leading News 2017