The Grand Bargain is a package of interlocking legislation designed to break the budget impasse. How important is school funding to that deal? Important enough that leaders titled it Senate Bill One. Under the plan filed by Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the state would freeze funding at current levels. Any additional dollars would be distributed based on each district’s demographics and unique needs, channeling the bulk of the money toward low-income districts.

Education leaders from all over the state converged on Carbondale Friday, trying to move the issue of education funding forward in Illinois.

After the death of a University of Illinois student, school and community leaders want to know how they can curb binge drinking at the annual "Unofficial St. Patrick's Day" event.

News that Northeastern Illinois University is cutting hundreds of student jobs has workers at schools across the state nervous.


A group of retired military generals is the latest to come out against an element of the Illinois Senate's "grand bargain" legislation. Their focus is a measure that would cut the state’s mandate of daily physical education to just three times a week.

There are 9,469 students enrolled at Western Illinois University this spring semester. It's the first time this century Western's student body has dropped below 10,000.

An Illinois House committee has cleared a proposal that would require public universities to admit first-time freshman applicants who finish with a GPA in the top 10 percent of their high school's graduating class.

The News-Gazette reports the House Higher Education Committee passed the bill Wednesday despite opposition from the University of Illinois and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Retired Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard is taking on another leadership role in higher education.

Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

Governor Bruce Rauner Tuesday visited Herrin Junior High School and discussed the need to pump more funding into K through 12 education.

Beth Purvis serves as Gov. Bruce Rauner's Secretary of Education, and she headed the 25-member commission he tasked with finding a way to make Illinois' school funding more equitable. After six months of meetings, the bipartisan panel adjourned yesterday releasing a report meant to guide lawmakers toward drafting a reform measure. Shortly after that final meeting, Purvis talked to me about the novel test she used with the commission, and why the panel stopped short of endorsing a specific plan.

Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed a southern Illinois educator to the Illinois State Board of Education.

Rauner says Kevin Settle's 34 years' experience as a superintendent, assistant regional superintendent and teacher will bring important experience and regional perspective to the board.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is suing the country’s largest student loan provider for consumer fraud.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner spoke in Rockford Thursday to tout a new school funding framework.

A group of lawmakers has agreed on a framework for making the way Illinois funds its schools more equitable. But whether it will lead to a long-elusive legislative fix remains to be seen.

A state representative from Chicago is trying to bring the spirit of Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign to Illinois. His idea? Free tuition at Illinois' public universities.

Democrat Will Guzzardi knows Illinois will not be providing free college tuition anytime soon.

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago State University is getting a whole new slate of leaders.

The school has struggled financially for the last few years due in part to the state's budget impasse.

Jennifer Fuller, WSIU

Governor Bruce Rauner and other state education leaders visited Carbondale Community High School Friday, where he signed legislation aimed at helping schools hire more full-time and substitute teachers.

A group of 1,000 students from De Montfort University in Leicester, England is in New York City this week.   The group is on an educational mission of tolerance and social responsibility in the post-Brexit / post-U.S. Election era.     The mission and student demographics of DMU is similar to that of SIU Carbondale.  WSIU's Jeff Williams recently talked with Vice Chancellor Dominic Shellard  about the group’s trip to the Big Apple.

The student's visit will culminate on Friday with a rally in Central Park; embracing the importance of being global citizens.

In the ongoing budget grudge match between Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratically-controlled legislature, one bright spot is that public schools have been spared.

Rauner, in fact, has boasted that under his administration, general state aid for schools has been fully funded for the first time in years. But there's a caveat to that claim.

Progress Illinois

A preliminary report on college enrollment in Illinois shows a decline at all sectors of higher education.

The tenure track faculty union at SIU-Edwardsville has been certified to become the bargaining unit for some 400 faculty members on the campus.

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University of Illinois

The University of Illinois is strengthening its ties with Mexico through new academic and research partnerships.

IBHE Awards Emergency Funds to 3 Universities

Nov 23, 2016

The Illinois Board of Higher Education has approved $17 million in emergency funding to help three financially-strapped state universities through the end of the year.

If you were a soldier in World War II, a furlough was something to look forward to. It was a sanctioned leave of absence from your normal duties, a chance to relax and go have some fun. In today's economy, the word furlough has lost some of its luster. It still connotes time off, but without pay.

Tomorrow, Jeff Brownfield, who represents university civil service employees, will appear before the General Assembly's rules committee to ask lawmakers to approve a measure allowing state schools to require employees to take as many as 15 days off without pay.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with "Expanding Your Horizons" Chair Kathleen Pericak-Spector.

Voters in Jackson County will be asked next week whether they support a sales tax increase to help fund public schools.

The University of Illinois is planning to try again for full state funding in fiscal 2018, which it hasn't seen since 2015.

The Illinois State Board of Education has released its 2016 report cards analyzing how well the state’s public schools are educating its students.

Results from the second year using the standardized test known as PARCC continue to paint a dismal picture: more than 60 percent of students failed to meet state benchmarks in math and English.

Tichenor Named Interim Director of Simon Institute

Oct 20, 2016

Jak Tichenor, whose journalism career with WSIU Public Broadcasting spanned nearly 34 years, will become interim director of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute on Nov. 1. He will replace David Yepsen, who is retiring at the end of this month.