December 2019 Leading News

In Leading News to wrap up the year, a new study from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign analyzes school funding and property taxes. Early childhood education, and funding for it, will be discussed by a new state commission. Is email outr├ę for high school students, and does that impact college admissions? The weather report shows schools using snow days as e-learning opportunities. And, in sports, the decision by IHSA to rescind its districts proposal for high school football has school districts talking about what’s next.
Researchers suggest more state funding for schools would help lower property taxes
Peter Hancock, CNI/Belleville News-Democrat, December 18
New state commission to examine early childhood education funding
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, December 16
Teenagers don’t use email — colleges do. That’s a problem during college admissions season
Dawn Rhodes, Chicago Tribune, December 19
Macomb BoE approves E-learning days
Tabi Jozwick, McDonough County Voice, December 19
Homework on a snow day? These Decatur schools found a way to keep learning on track
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, December 1
IHSA rescinds plan for districts, but football coaches say more work needs to be done
Tony Baranek, Daily Southtown, December 19
In today’s Leading News, a civics instructor in Elgin-based School District U-46 uses impeachment process as a teachable moment. Future high-schoolers get a look at the curriculum in Rochelle THSD 212. School districts act now to seek referendums in March 2020. Also in the news, Oak Park-River Forest HSD 200 develops a new online communications tool for its community.
How suburban educator is using Trump impeachment as a teachable moment
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, December 1
Preparing new students
Andrew Heiserman, Rochelle News Leader, December 18
Quincy School Board puts tax increase on March ballot
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, December 18
… Warren Township High School considers November referendum
Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, November 24
OPRF to launch new online information source
Michael Romain, Wednesday Journal, Oak Park, December 17
In today’s Leading News, new school buses are on the way for Prairieview-Ogden CCSD 197. Orion CUSD 223 school officials discuss property tax caps. Proviso THSD 209 will exit ISBE financial oversight after years of “righting the ship.” CUSD 308 in Oswego makes rollback decisions with an eye on a March referendum. Also in the news, the NPR Illinois Education Desk looks at placements for special needs students.
PVO board approves school bus purchase
Dave Hinton, Rantoul Press, December 19
Orion school hears about property tax caps
Lisa Hammer, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, December 18
D209's Financial Oversight Panel to leave by year's end
Michael Romain, Forest Park Review, December 17
Oswego School District Board amends list of rollbacks to previous budget cuts
Rollbacks would be implemented if voters pass March referendum
Shea Lazansky, Kendall County Now, December 11
Far From Home: Who Pays The Price For Out-Of-State Placements?
Dusty Rhodes, WUIS Education Desk, Springfield, December 17
In today’s Leading News, Edwardsville CUSD 7 offers update to village trustees. Urbana will have additional school resource officers. A teacher asks Riverside-Brookfield THSD 208 to free up reserve funds to hire more teachers. Law enforcement investigates money missing from a PTA fundraiser in Calumet City. Also in the news, the IHSA has voted to turn over, before it was implemented, last year’s decision to schedule football teams via districts.
Henderson delivers District 7 outlook at village board
Charles Bolinger, The Intelligencer, Edwardsville, December 17
Urbana School Board Allows School Resource Officers To Openly Carry Guns
Lee V. Gaines, WILL, Urbana, December 18
Veteran RBHS teacher: Ample reserves to fund more staff
Bob Skolnik, Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, December 17
Money collected for Calumet City PTA fundraiser goes missing, superintendent says
Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, December 13
IHSA football districts repealed in statewide vote
Ryan Mahan, State Journal-Register, Springfield, December 17
In today’s Leading News, talks continue, but without a deal, between Decatur SD 61 and its teaching assistants. A lawsuit claims the College Board organization is selling student personal information. Woodstock CUSD 200 reports recurring problems with the water system at a school. McLean Co Unit District 5 announces its social media policy for teachers and staff.  Also in the news, in Texas, an election, a recount and a missing ballot box could alter the outcome of a $500-million school bond referendum.
Decatur teaching assistants, school district fail to reach agreement in 3-hour session
Analisa Trofimuk, Decatur Herald and Review, December 17
CPS parent sues College Board for allegedly selling students’ personal data for profit
David Struett, Chicago Sun-Times, December 10
Water at District 200 school shows elevated arsenic levels again
Brittany Keeperman, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, December 13
Unit 5 announces new social media policy for employees
Munashe Kwangwari, WMBD, Peoria, December 11
We won. No, you won. Wait! We won!
Confusion in a Texas school bond election isn’t going away.

Dave Lieber, Dallas Morning News, December 12
In today’s Leading News, many downstate school districts are closed today due to the weather and travel conditions. A superintendent raises concerns over ISBE’s decisions on seclusion. CPS decides to close two charter schools for underperformance. Also in the news, high school students prepare to vote in McHenry County.
Area gets dose of winter with more snow on the way Monday
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, December 15
District 87's Reilly 'Furious' Over Seclusion Ban
Eric Stock, WGLT, Normal, December 13
Read the Illinois State Board of Education's proposed new rules for how schools can restrain students
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, December 10
Chicago school board approves closure of 2 charter schools despite emotional pleas from parents and students
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, December 11
McHenry County voter registration drive nets high school students
Daily Herald, December 13
In today’s Leading News, the Tribune/ProPublica Illinois investigation into the seclusion and restraint issue continues with a piece about a north suburban facility for children with behavioral and emotional disabilities,. THSD 113 (Highland Park) develops “safe haven” protocols. The Matteson community discusses objections to a proposed casino near neighborhood schools. Galena SD will assess community priorities for a superintendent search. Also in the news, life skills and coffee blend in Peoria Public Schools.
‘A Mean Place’ One school. 21 abuse investigations. And the struggle to stop relying on seclusion and restraint.
Jodi S. Cohen and Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois, December 12
Concern over ICE raids prompts new protocols designed to protect students at Township High School District 113
Karen Berkowitz, Pioneer Press/Highland Park News, December 12
Reading and writing and — roulette? Under fire, Matteson rethinks proposed casino site near schools
Mitchell Armentrout, Chicago Sun-Times, December 11
Board postpones public forum: Galena School Board will ask residents what qualities are important for superintendent
Hillary Dickerson, Galena Gazette, December 10
Von Stu-BEAN Jolt Cafe brews up business skills and good times
Scott Hilyard, Journal Star, Peoria, December 2

In today’s Leading News, the Daily Herald looks at the statewide teacher shortage. Shawnee CUSD 84’s basketball coach teaches the game – to boys and girls – in a different way. Sycamore CUSD 427 manages a ransomware attack. Brown Co. CUSD 1 considers and reconsiders school facilities and financing for them. Also in the news, CPS students develop a video game, and Chance provides the soundtrack.

What's happening at the state level to address the growing teacher shortage
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, December 3

Thinking outside the box, Shawnee embraces hope with co-ed basketball team 
Bucky Dent, The Southern Illinoisan, December 11

Ransomware attack hits Sycamore School District 427
Matthew N. Wells, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, December 3

Brown County "back to the drawing board" on school building issues
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, December 1

Chance the Rapper lends hit ‘I Love You So Much’ to new video game — designed by CPS students
Ryan Smith, Chicago Sun-Times, December 9

In today’s Leading News, ISBE’s proposals relating to the use of seclusion and restraint are open for public comment. Community Consolidated SD 59 (Elk Gove Village) seeks to improve outdated facilities and hears from community members about the costs. An Illinois elementary school suspends an administrator upon learning of sexual assault charges during a prior employment at a Wisconsin school. Decatur SD 61 announces an attendance model for its updated facilities. Also in the news, families in a Rockford SD 205 neighborhood petition to leave the district.
Proposed Illinois school rules would ban secluded timeouts
WREX, Rockford, December 10
District 59 plan to borrow $39 million rankles residents
Christopher Placek, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, December 10
Zion Elementary School District 6 places principal on leave after learning of Wisconsin sexual assault charges
Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, December 10
Decatur school district leaders unveil dual-campus plan for Dennis School, potential new school boundaries
Analisa Trofimuk, Decatur Herald and Review, December 10
Families petition to ditch Rockford Public Schools
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, December 9
In today’s Leading News, CPS discusses closing two charter schools based on quality metrics. United THSD 30 (East Moline) nixes class rank starting with next year’s freshmen. Law enforcement is called to assist with threatening graffiti in in two districts. Also in the news, Galesburg CUSD 205 determines school boundaries.
Chicago Public Schools proposal to close 2 charter schools slammed as ‘racist and irresponsible’ by teachers union
Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, December 9
Starting in 2024, United Township High School will no longer have class rankings
Jim Meenan, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, December 9
Frankfort Community High School again heightens law enforcement after more bathroom graffiti
Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, December 9
2 written threats found in Metea Valley bathrooms; police say they are not credible
Marie Wilson, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, December 5
School boundaries: equity vs. transportation
Tom Martin, Galesburg Register-Mail, December 8

In today’s Leading News, Dunlap CUSD 323 considers new facilities for administrative offices. Quincy SD 172 looks at policy revisions. Komarek SD 94 in North Riverside intends to work with its community on facility renovations. Kaneland CUSD 302 seeks to update its bus fleet. Also in the news, a national perspective on school shooting response, including bleeding-control kits.

Dunlap School District looks to move into its own office space
Scott Hilyard, Journal Star, Peoria, December 5

School policy revisions target issues in national, state spotlight
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, December 4

Komarek School announces renovation focus groups
Bob Uphues, Riverside Brookfield Landmark, November 26

Kaneland school board contemplates plans for aging bus fleet
Chris Walker, Shaw Media, Kane County, November 26

Books, binders and bleed-control kits: How school shootings are changing classroom basics
Sandy West, NBC News, December 8


In today’s Leading News, Northern Public Radio reports on efforts to increase participation in AP courses. East Dubuque Unit SD 119 considers bond campaign. Quincy area students plan for nursing careers, while a new program in Red Bud CUSD 132 offers career training for future machinists. Also in the news, Wisconsin state and educational leaders discuss student mental health and school safety after shooting incidents on consecutive days.

Increasing Diversity In AP Programs Seen As Key To Getting More Kids Ready For College
Peter Medlin, Northern Public Radio, DeKalb, November 25

East Dubuque district officials sign off on $10.5 million bond campaign
Benjamin Fisher, Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, December 5

QAVTC students working toward CNA certification
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, December 1

New Program Forms Future Machinists
Alan Dooley, Monroe County Republic-Times, December 4

Governor: Wisconsin must ‘step up’ after school shootings on consecutive days
Scott Bauer, Associated Press/Chicago Tribune, December 4

In today’s Leading News, ISBE and Illinois organizers promote the 2020 census in the education and social services communities. A reorganization discussion is underway in Johnson County. Macomb CUSD 185 is on track for new school facilities. Summer school? Morton CUSD 709 aims for balanced semesters. Also in the news, DeKalb CUSD 428 approves a welcoming resolution after community conversation.
Officials encourage children to help older relatives complete 2020 census
John Garcia. WLS, Chicago, December 5
Johnson County School District considers changes with reorganization study
Logan Gay, WPSD, November 26
Macomb CUSD prepares to build new middle school
Tabi Jozwicki, McDonough County Voice, November 25
Early start of school in 2020 is a hot topic in Morton
Steve Stein, Journal Star, Peoria, November 29
'The type of community we need in DeKalb':
D-428 school board approves welcoming resolution
Kelsey Rettke, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, November 19
In today’s Leading News, State Board of Education officials are looking for feedback on yearly reading and math tests. A new study from Chicago found that English-language learners are outpacing their peers on long-term academic progress. Edwardsville District 7 is gathering information for equity programing from community listening circles that include residents, parents, and students. Elmwood Park CUSD 401 is hosting training courses for potential substitute teachers with the goal of filling their substitute shortage. Also in the news, North Shore SD 112 in Highland Park will begin installing cameras on school buses to catch drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus.
Officials considering major changes to annual reading, math tests
Peter Hancock, CNI/Daily Journal, Kankakee, November 26

English-language learners are matching, exceeding other CPS students: study
Mitch Dudek, Chicago Sun-Times, December 3

District 7 continues to listen to community members’ stories in mission for equity
Julia Biggs, Edwardsville Intelligencer, November 26

Training in Elmwood Park hopes to snare substitute teachers
Rachel K. Hindery, Pioneer Press/Elm Leaves, December 2

Highland Park agrees to camera enforcement for people who pass school buses illegally
Karen Berkowitz, Pioneer Press/Highland Park News, December 1
In today’s Leading News, The New York Times reports on a study that shows lack of progress in U.S. education. A task force in St. Charles is formed to help communities deal with vaping and e-cigarette use. Also in the news, reactions to the Tribune and Pro Publica story and ISBE’s response to the use of isolation rooms in schools.
‘It Just Isn’t Working’: Test Scores Cast Doubt on U.S. Education Reform
Dana Goldstein, New York Times, December 3
New task force to address teen vaping epidemic
St. Charles District 303 School Board President Carolyn Waibel created Fox Valley Vape Task Force
Eric Schelkopf, Kane County Chronicle, November 29
ISBE Asks Families To Report Seclusion, Restraint
Dusty Rhodes, WUIS Education Desk, Springfield, November 22
District 112 explains use of isolated time outs, restraints after investigation prompts emergency action
Karen Berkowitz, Pioneer Press/Highland Park News, November 22
Illinois Quad-Cities school districts respond to state order banning seclusion rooms
Megan Valley, Quad Cities Times, November 22

In today’s Leading News, CUSD 308 (Oswego) considers its options pending a referendum. DeKalb CUSD 428 continues conversation on a welcoming resolution. Naperville CUSD 203 responds to a ‘racially insensitive’ online post. Galesburg CUSD 205 considers new boundaries. Also in the news, officials deal with a potential pest problem in Marion CUSD 2 schools.

Oswego School Board weighs cutting fees, smaller class sizes if referendum passes
Shea Lazansky, Kendall County Now, November 20

DeKalb School District 428 Board to vote on controversial welcoming resolution
Kelsey Rettke, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, November 27

How Naperville 203 is responding to 'racially insensitive' post on Craigslist
Marie Wilson, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 19

Galesburg students may travel further for school with possible new boundaries
WQAD, Quad Cities, November 20

Bed bugs found at more southern Illinois schools
Jeff Weinrich, WSIL, Carterville, November 26

Your leading education news from around the state
The links to articles posted here are selected daily from news sources across Illinois, provided as a service to our membership. These links go directly to the original source (print, broadcast, or online media) of the article. The purpose of sharing these links is to give readers of this blog a wider perspective on state and local issues impacting public education. IASB neither endorses nor verifies the content.
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