Education

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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WSIU / WSIU

SIU President Randy Dunn says an increase in funding for higher education included in the proposed state budget is a welcome addition for colleges and universities.

Illinois is one step closer to having a budget for next year — the state Senate approved a spending plan late Wednesday night.

It follows years of bitter partisan fighting over state taxes and spending. But the mood around this year’s budget is remarkably different.

State Senator Chapin Rose had what he thought was a no-brainer bill. All he wanted to do was help public universities connect with promising high school juniors by sharing basic data like standardized test scores. But just hours before presenting his bill in committee, he ran into FERPA — the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

It’s a federal law; there’s no easy way around it.

A group of school superintendents is suing Gov. Bruce Rauner and the State of Illinois seeking more than $7 billion for schools.

This is high school graduation season across southern Illinois.

It's likely no class was prouder than the one in Cairo, where HUD's closure of two public housing complexes further damaged the already struggling community.

How Schools Can Help Kids Traumatized By Gun Violence

May 15, 2018
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Lee V. Gaines/Illinois Newsroom

Last month, about a dozen people gathered in the basement of a church in Champaign, Ill. to learn about how traumatic experiences affect the lives of children and young adults, and what they can do to mitigate its effects.

 

Southeast Missouri State University's tuition and fees will increase in the fall in response to reduced state funding for universities.

The Board of Regents Friday approved a 2.1 percent increase in tuition, but waived all but 1 percent while leaving open the possibility of another increase.

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Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

A trio of southern Illinois school districts this week learned about how to fund school safety improvements.

Administrators from Vienna District 55, North Wayne District 200 in Cisne and Norris City-Omaha-Enfield District 3 heard about various bond and loan options.

Every Sunday, a group of women meets in the basement of a church in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood to sort and package boxes of books. The boxes are sent to women in prisons in Illinois and beyond the state’s borders. In total, the group, Chicago Books to Women in Prison (BWP), has sent nearly 20,000 books to incarcerated women in the last five years, and tens of thousands since the organization was founded in 2002.


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swimteamthefilm.com

Making sure students are prepared for life after high school is a key part of education-including for students in special education classes. Collin Dorsey reports.

With April being Autism Awareness Month, the West Frankfort School district is working to make sure their students in special education classes are prepared for life after high school.

New teachers would be guaranteed a starting salary of at least 40 thousand dollars under legislation pending in the Illinois Senate.

Senator Andy Manar is sponsoring the bill and says some teachers are living in poverty and that it's time they get paid what they deserve.

For more than 30 years, kids with a certain streak of genius have found a home at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in suburban Chicago. It’s the rarest of gems in the educational landscape: a public, affordable, boarding school. One of just a handful of such schools nationwide, Wired magazine dubbed it “Hogwarts for Hackers.” But now, after the state’s two-year budget impasse, lawmakers are pondering a proposal that would welcome wizards from outside of Illinois — for a price.

The state Illinois will finally begin sending local school districts more than $350 million dollars to equalize school funding.  The funds, set to go out next week, come as the result of the reform battle waged in the General Assembly over the past several years.

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Consortium for Educational Change

Schools in 15 southern Illinois counties can participate in a program to help students deal with stress outside the classroom.

The Consortium for Educational Change and the Partnership for Resilience received a 50-thousand dollar grant to support a program to limit the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACES.

Following an all-night bargaining session, negotiators with the University of Illinois and the union representing graduate workers on the Urbana campus have reached a tentative contract agreement.

The Graduate Employees' Organization - or GEO - announced the news on social media earlier Thursday.

U of I Graduate Workers Strike Hinges On Tuition Waivers

Mar 7, 2018

Hundreds of classes have been canceled and dozens more relocated as a strike by graduate employees at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign continues into a second week. On Tuesday night, graduate workers occupied the office of university president Tim Killeen. Strikers have a variety of demands, but one of the most contentious points focuses on the future of tuition waivers — and whether some graduate workers will have to pay tuition while employed in academic positions on campus.


PUKA School in Carbondale May Close

Mar 6, 2018

Financial woes have one childcare center in Carbondale considering closing its doors.

Since 1975, the PUKA school has provided childcare for families of southern Illinois.

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University of Illinois

The union representing graduate employees at the University of Illinois’ Urbana campus is going on strike.

A panel of state senators today heard budget requests from agencies representing colleges and universities, and lawmakers took the opportunity to ask why neighboring states are able to lure so many Illinois students away.

 

The answer is pretty simple: Other Big 10 schools offer financial considerations that Illinois' flagship campus can't match.

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