Education

Governor Bruce Rauner has been drumming up opposition to the Democrats' new school funding plan by touting how much more money each district would receive under his version.

Some Republican lawmakers say the Illinois State House of Representatives may not have the votes to override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of a school funding bill Wednesday.

The Illinois State Senate spent Sunday in session, where Senators voted 38 to 19 to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of the new school funding bill. The override wasn't a surprise, because this new evidence-based funding plan had originally cleared the Senate with a veto-proof majority. The House, however, represents a higher hurdle, where Democrats will need Republicans to vote with them. That vote is scheduled for Wednesday.

 

Sen. Andy Manar, the Bunker Hill Democrat who sponsored the measure, says he'd rather negotiate a compromise.

Teacher unions are opposing a draft proposal that would divert tax revenue away from the state to pay tuition for sending students to private schools.

They criticize it as a school voucher program.

Illinois Public Radio Station WBEZ has learned negotiations over school funding in the state have a potential voucher program on the table.

Governor Bruce Rauner complained again Thursday that he still hasn't gotten his hands on Senate Bill 1, the Democrat-sponsored legislation that would change the state's school funding formula.

Illinois legislators are headed to the Capitol for a special session on school funding called by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Governor Calls Special Session on School Funding

Jul 24, 2017

Sticking to his promise, Governor Bruce Rauner is calling lawmakers back to Springfield to discuss school funding.

A pair of southern Illinois lawmakers says Democratic leaders need to send Governor Rauner the education funding formula measure he promises to veto.

Lawmakers approved a state budget more than a week ago, but that legislation requires enactment of a new school-funding plan.

Governor Bruce Rauner is eager to use his veto pen to alter the school funding reform plan adopted by the General Assembly in June.  There’s just one problem: It’s not on his desk.

The shakeup in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office seems to signal a tougher stance on school funding. The state spending plan passed by the General Assembly requires adoption of a new funding formula, but Rauner has promised to veto the only school formula plan that got legislative approval. This standoff might make the lawsuit filed by 21 school superintendents more relevant.

 

The lawsuit, filed in April, demands that Illinois honor its constitutional obligation to provide a high quality education for all students.

Illinois has tapped nearly $700 million in existing funds to make the first payment to colleges and universities they've received in seven months.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced the payment Thursday.

The state of Illinois has a budget. But, that's not the case for the state's K through 12 schools.

Mt. Vernon Schools Superintendent Aletta Lawrence says the spending plan can't appropriate money for schools unless a new funding formula also wins approval.

In a maneuver some state lawmakers call a "booby trap," the spending plan approved last week says Illinois can't appropriate money for schools unless a new funding formula also wins approval.

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.

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