Education

Educators across the state are anxiously watching the special session in Springfield.

The lack of a budget for K through 12 schools has some wondering if they'll have to alter their calendars for the upcoming academic year.

People
Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

There is a new Regional Superintendent of Schools for Williamson, Franklin, Johnson and Massac counties.

The four county chairmen Thursday unanimously approved Lorie LeQuatte to replace Matt Donkin, who is the new District Superintendent in West Frankfort.

State spending on public higher education in Illinois has dropped precipitously during the past two years as the state has operated without a budget.  But the president of Western Illinois University said the school will not allow itself to be bogged down by the budget stalemate.

Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker will step down on June 30, the end of the current academic year. 

He made the announcement at the beginning of the NIU Board of Trustees meeting, which had scheduled a closed session on its agenda to review “Presidential Employment.”  After a marathon closed session, Trustees emerged to announce their transition plan. Executive Vice President and Provost Lisa Freeman will serve as interim president, but will not pursue the position permanently. On July 1st, Freeman becomes NIU's first female president.

The fate of school funding reform in Illinois hinges on downstate sentiment about Chicago Public Schools, and legislators' grasp of a complex, new formula. The governor has already pledged to veto the legislation. And now, the battle has State Sen. Andy Manar accusing Education Secretary Beth Purvis of lying.

The Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs says the state is reducing fees and giving more investment choices to people saving money for college in the state's 529 college savings plans.

Three years after Illinois changed how science would be taught and tested, performance data still isn't available because schools haven't seen science exam scores.

Illinois officials tell the Chicago Tribune science testing and scoring hasn't gone smoothly, largely due to state budget woes.

Some girls at Rock Island High School say they're tired of reading male-dominated history and literature, so they've started a club that will offer more.

Northeastern Illinois University will lay off workers to cope with an Illinois budget impasse that has reduced state funding.

The university announced Tuesday it will eliminate about 180 full-time jobs in the coming weeks.

Eastern Illinois University is taking aggressive measures to recruit new high school students to its campus.

A bill that would overhaul the way Illinois funds public schools passed a procedural hurdle Wednesday with bipartisan support.

New legislation aims to keep more students at Illinois colleges and universities.

Democratic Representative Lou Lang says high school grads are leaving Illinois in droves for out of state schools...with up to 35 percent never returning. He says his three-pronged bill could help slow that trend.

Democratic State Sen. Andy Manar, of Bunker Hill, is accusing Gov. Bruce Rauner of trying to kill his school funding legislation. He says the administration fed erroneous information to a Republican operative's website.

The story in question appears in the Kankakee Times, one of a dozen community news organs created by Dan Proft. Proft runs a political action committee supported by Rauner.

Higher education has been among the areas feeling the state budget impasse as funding has been cut.  It has forced some schools to reduce classes, lay off employees and, in some cases, close for several days. 

But a review of enrollment indicates small and mid-sized public universities are taking a double hit.   

Regional Superintendent To Take Over W. Frankfort Schools

May 12, 2017
People
ROE 21

A southern Illinois regional school superintendent is taking a different job in education.

Matt Donkin, the superintendent of Franklin, Williamson, Johnson and Massac counties will become the District Superintendent of the Frankfort School District. He says the board approached him and offered him the job.

Northern Illinois University officials say there will be 150 staff position reductions as the school tries to cut expenses.

Illinois state senators are debating whether to impose more regulations on student loan servicers.

The legislation would require the companies to get a state license to operate in Illinois.

People
NPR Illinois

United Faculty, the union representing tenured and tenure-track professors at the University of Illinois Springfield, have been marching and chanting for a contract for three days.

They've been in negotiations for almost two years, and say the main sticking points are the retention and promotion policies, not salaries.

But Thursday, in her first public comments about the strike, Chancellor Susan Koch said money is an issue too.

Tenured and tenure-track professors at the University of Illinois Springfield are on strike starting today.  Nearly 170 professors belong to the union that will take to the picket line this morning. 

It's hard to find an issue that unites Illinois lawmakers, yet members of both political parties and Governor Bruce Rauner have consistently agreed the state needs to change the way it funds schools. Now, with the filing of two separate legislative plans, that once-unison chorus sounds out of tune. State Senator Jason Barickman is the author of one of those plans. Our education desk reporter Dusty Rhodes quizzed him on how he intends to fix the flaws in the state's current funding formula.

People
U.S. House of Representatives

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) and U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville).

You can watch the entire special WSIU InFocus from WSIU TV here.

Several Metro East school superintendents are among more than 400 school leaders calling on Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and the state legislature to pass a budget. That’s on top of a lawsuit asking the state to give schools what they were promised.

Faculty members at the University of Illinois Springfield have voted to authorize a strike.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Autism Society of Southern Illinois President Stephanie Brown about the introduction of Julia - a character living with autism - to Sesame Street.



People
Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

Governor Bruce Rauner brought his campaign tour to southern Illinois Wednesday.

Speaking to a group of supporters and workers at Aisin Manufacturing in Marion, the governor says Illinois government is broken and his turnaround agenda items are needed to fix it.

A Republican state senator from Bloomington Wednesday became the third legislator to introduce a competing education funding plan.

SIU
Jennifer Fuller, WSIU

A procedural move stymied plans to allow SIU Carbondale to borrow from SIU Edwardsville Thursday, but leaders say the idea isn’t dead.

Seventeen school superintendents sued the state of Illinois Wednesday.  They're asking Governor Bruce Rauner and the state board of education to come up with a funding formula that would help schools meet the state's learning standards.

Last week, when Southern Illinois University revealed that its main campus in Carbondale needs to borrow money from its Edwardsville location, the news seemed shocking. Who knew SIU was in such dire straits? It wasn’t the kind of news any school would want to broadcast.

School funding has been one of the most hotly debated issues in the statehouse, but in recent days, there’s been a glimmer of hope. A Democrat filed new funding plan, and a key Republican in the Illinois Senate appeared to endorse it, issuing a statement saying that he was “cautiously optimistic.” Was this the beginning of a bipartisan solution? We decided to do a reality check.

 

Pages