Education

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Teachers in the Murphysboro School District have a new contract.

The Board of Education Tuesday night ratified the new deal. The teachers did the same last week.

In the wake of the #metoo movement and the spotlight on assault allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, more states — including Illinois — are rethinking how sex education should be taught in public schools. 
 

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WSIU

Teachers in the Murphysboro School District said yes Wednesday to a new one-year contract agreement with the administration.

Murphysboro Education Association spokesperson Melinda Pierson says the new deal includes a pay increase and some help from the district in offsetting the teachers' health insurance costs.

UPDATED AT 9:45 p.m. Oct. 1:

The Murphysboro CUSD 186 Facebook page says The Murphysboro Education Association and the School Board's Negotiation team met tonight. A tentative agreement was reached. There will be school Tuesday.

Project Hopes to Help Students with Trauma

Sep 26, 2018

The Illinois Education Association and Partnership for Resilience are teaming up for Resilient Southern Illinois aimed to help students with trauma.

Mary Jane Morris, IEA director of Teaching and Learning says students with Adverse Childhood Experiences risk falling behind in school. Examples of the trauma include verbal, physical and sexual abuse and domestic violence or absence.

As districts around the state begin reaping the benefits of Illinois' new school funding formula, Democratic lawmakers who just happen to be up for re-election gathered today to remind voters that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner initially vetoed that funding, and likewise vetoed legislation that would raise minimum teacher salaries to $40,000 over the next five years.

 

State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), who sponsored the legislation and is seeking re-election, says it's possible to get enough votes to override the veto when the General Assembly convenes shortly after midterm elections in November.

lllinois has historically ranked second in the nation when it comes to high school graduates leaving the state to go to college. But there's good news for a certain set of students who opt to stay.

 

New data released by the state Board of Higher Education shows Illinois is tops in the nation for getting students who start out at community college through to a bachelor's degree.

Illinois’ new school funding formula — approved last year — could already be facing revisions. That's because lawmakers had such a tough time agreeing on this new formula, they tried to ensure they'd never have to fight so hard again. So they built in a Professional Review Panel, and empowered the group to recommend recalibrations as needed.


​One idea under consideration: Adding a racial equity component, to address the historic underfunding of predominantly black districts.

Western Illinois University has received $9.5 million from the state of Illinois for capital improvement projects. But, that's just a drop in the bucket of what it would take to address the backlog of deferred maintenance.

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Illinois schools will soon have to publicly report and be evaluated on a new performance measurement: chronic absence. But researchers and superintendents have raised questions about whether or not that data will be meaningful or fair.

Illinois’ public universities have finished tallying up their student bodies for the new school year, and once again it’s a mix of winners and losers.

The union representing teachers in the Murphysboro School District has voted to authorize a strike.

The Murphysboro Education Association says the vote comes after a lack of progress in negotiations with the Board of Education, including the last session on August 16th with a federal mediator.

Illinois has moved to the top of its class in a national college transfer report.

Data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows the state is number one for bachelor's degree completion among community college students.

Experts Explore Reasons, Solutions for Teacher Shortage

Sep 5, 2018

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law a slew of legislation this month intended to alleviate Illinois’s teacher shortage. But some teachers and union leaders doubt the measures are enough. Illinois Newsroom’s Lee Gaines spoke with Linda Darling-Hammond to find out what legislative fixes actually work.

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National Audubon Society

With Labor Day weekend here, many people will be celebrating the last weekend of summer with get-togethers and cookouts.

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill this weekend that would have raised the minimum salary for Illinois public school teachers to $40,000 by 2022.

In his veto message, Rauner says legislation isn’t the best way to raise teacher pay.

Murray State University has lifted its suspension on Greek Life social events. University officials outlined changes to the social event policy in a press conference on Friday following committee meetings over the summer.

A national study comparing general school funding dollars with the amount spent on staff benefits singled out Illinois, and not in a good way.

 

The study tracked spending on K-12 education for the years 2005 through 2014. And nationwide, spending increased slightly… But spending on benefits for school staff? That increased much more.

Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law several bills last week -- that proponents claim will reduce the state’s teacher shortage.

The state’s largest teachers union - the Illinois Education Association - says the legislation doesn’t do enough to solve the problem.

Officials Work On Tweaking Evidence-Based School Funding.

Aug 9, 2018
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WSIU/Kevin Boucher

Two regional superintendents were recently tasked with recommending ways the state can funnel new money to schools for at-risk students. Lee Gaines has this report.

When we think about preventing domestic violence and human trafficking, we may not think that one of the first lines of defense against these issues is standing at the front of our classrooms.

When communities watch young people grow up, go off and never return, remaining residents and politicians often bemoan there’s been a “brain drain” — especially when such population loss means schools and businesses close.

Esperanza Yanez can spot a sick cow just by looking at it.

“The head hangs down and they don’t eat,” said Yanez, who immigrated from Mexico two decades ago and has been caring for cattle ever since.

Parents of bright kids, listen up.

A new Illinois law will give gifted children the chance to move ahead in public school. 

  

Last week, the U.S. Secret Service released a guide for preventing school violence. Issued in response to recent massacres in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas, it’s subtitled “An Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence.”

But closer to home, a group from the Illinois Terrorism Task Force had already presented a very similar set of recommendations back in April.

Rich Egger/TSPR

Western Illinois University laid out its plans for restructuring and realigning its academic offerings during a much anticipated news conference earlier this month.

The announcement comes less than a month after two dozen faculty received layoff notices. At that time, Western also eliminated 62 vacant or soon to be vacant positions.

A series of state laws meant to reduce the number of kids getting kicked out of school appears to have worked.But, they also seem to have magnified racial disparities in school discipline.

Illinois has traditionally used a competitive grant process to parcel out money for preschools.

In the past, that competition was limited to programs that had a history of getting state funds.

What Will It Take To Fix Illinois' Teacher Shortage?

Jun 27, 2018
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Lee V. Gaines/Illinois Newsroom

Chuck Bleyer is worried the southern Illinois school district he heads won’t be able to fill an open teacher position by the time classes start this fall.

The founder of a faith-based college in southern Illinois says a lack of cooperation from the U.S. Department of Education contributed to the school's permanent closure.

Morthland College officials announced the institution's closure last week, citing a lack of funding.

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