September 2019 Leading News

In today’s Leading News, Central Illinois communities mourn a local tragedy, after a kindergarten student and the driver of an passenger vehicle, a teacher, died in a school bus crash in Moultrie County. Local government officials aim for vigilance as cybersecurity threats increase. McClean Co CUSD 5 will consider a new transportation provider. Also in the news, Champaign County taxing authorities, challenging a decision impacting non-profits paying property taxes, want funds to be paid while the challenge is pending.

Community encircles Sullivan school to show support after fatal crash
Rob Stroud, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, September 29
2 dead, including Sullivan child, in Moultrie County bus-SUV accident
Scott Perry, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, September 27
Governments, schools under cyber attack
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, September 28
Unit 5 may look to other busing options after First Student 'disappointments'
Kelsey Watznauer, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, September 26
Judge to decide whether Champaign County must recognize
OSF's tax exemptions while challenging them
Debra Pressey, News-Gazette, Champaign, September 27

In today’s Leading News, the Chicago Teachers Union votes to authorize a strike. Springfield SD 186 teachers and district will meet with a federal mediator. A little shade is thrown on a solar-power project in Monticello CUSD 25. Indian Prairie looks at diversity on its teaching staff. Also in the news, school districts are “playing around” with kindergarten readiness.

Chicago Teachers Union votes to authorize strike; walkout could begin Oct. 7
Hannah Leone And Gregory Pratt, Chicago Tribune, September 27

SEA, District 186 will meet with federal mediator Oct. 16
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, September 26

School solar project approval delayed
Steve Hoffman, Piatt County Journal-Republican, September 24

Indian Prairie has a more diverse teaching staff, but still faces gap, officials say
Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, September 24

Kindergartners: Ready or not?
Ali Braboy, Ottawa Times, September 16

September 26, 2019

In today’s Leading News, school districts receive trauma response kits as part of the efforts of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force’s School Safety Working Group, and school districts aim “to educate, not terrify” in drills. Rock Island/Milan SD 40 discusses contract terms and facilities wishlist. Peoria Public Schools makes changes to its anti-bullying efforts. Also in the news, lacrosse makes headlines as McLean Co Unit District 5 holds a busy meeting.

Bleeding trauma kits distributed to Illinois schools
AP/Decatur Herald and Review, September 5

‘To educate, not to terrify’: Teachers prepared for active shoot scenarios
Godfrey program focuses on active shooter response
Dylan Suttles, The Telegraph, Alton, September 20

Rock Island School District approves salary increases, discusses student discipline policy
Nicole Lauer, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, September 24

Peoria Public Schools updates its anti-bullying policy
Andy Kravetz, Journal Star, Peoria, September 1223

Unit 5 OKs co-op lacrosse teams for B-N high schools; District 87 yet to act
Kelsey Watznauer, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, September 24

In today’s Leading News, read updates on labor issues from around the state. A Carrollton TIF proposal leads to discussion for the city council and school board. Also in the news, state lawmakers hear about the a growing crisis with vaping and e-cigarette use.

Bernie Sanders, John Cusack rally with Chicago teachers as strike vote begins
Hannah Leone and Gregory Pratt, Chicago Tribune, September 25,

Union representing 275 Decatur school employees threatens strike; district 'hopeful progress will be made'
Analisa Trofimuk, Decatur Herald and Review, September 24

Carbondale, Murphysboro teachers could strike next week
Joe Ragusa, WSIL, Carterville, September 24

TIF district tiff moves to school board meeting
Marco Cartolano, Journal Courier, Jacksonville, September 25

Lawmakers hear about vape crisis
Doug Finke, State Journal-Register, Springfield, September 23

In today’s Leading News, the Illinois Times takes a deep dive into the teacher shortage statewide. New cameras capture drivers in the Central SD 51 (Washington) area passing stopped school buses. Quincy SD 172 aims to improve teacher retention. Edwards County CUSD 1 considers moving to a traditional bell schedule. Also in the news, CPS boosts arts education.
David Blanchette, Illinois Times, Springfield, September 19
Steve Stein, Peoria Journal Star, September 22
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, September 20
T.H. Hug, The Navigator Journal, Albion, September 19
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, September 20
In today’s Leading News, Kewanee CUSD 229 benefits from new state funding formula. Coal City CUSD 1 investigates questions about residency. Spring Valley CCSD 99 adds money for substitute teachers to its budget. Also in the news, a point and counterpoint on administration costs.
Mike Helenthal, Kewanee Star Courier, September 18
Megann Horstead, Morris Herald-News, September 18
Brett Herrmann, Bureau County Republican, September 19
Cole Lauterbach, The Telegraph, Alton, August 29
Mark Maxwell, WCIA, Springfield, September 19
In today’s Leading News, students join climate change activism events, including one in Chicago. Questions continue about the hiring of a Matteson SD 159 principal. Contract negotiations challenges arise in CPS and Evergreen Park ESD 124, among others. Also in the news, fresh meals are on the menu in Lincoln Elem SD 27.
Evergreen Park teachers say they’re ready to strike after contract talks bog down
Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, September 19
District 27 meals get boost from ALMH
Jean Ann Miller, Lincoln Courier, September 17

In today’s Leading News, this century's version of “riding the circuit” brings the Illinois Supreme Court to students. Mendota CCSD 289 moves to mediation. Danville CCSD 118 approved its fiscal year budget; along I-72, Urbana SD 16 does the same. Also in the news, a McLean County collaboration offers help for students with mental health concerns.

Metro-east students travel to Godfrey to see Illinois Supreme Court in action
Peter Hancock And Rebecca Anzel, CNI/ Belleville News-Democrat, September 18

Can mediator prevent teachers' strike at Mendota?
Craig Sterrett, LaSalle News Tribune, September 19

District 118 adopts spending plan
Carol Roehm, Danville Commercial-News, September 19

Urbana school board approves budget with $1.3 million surplus
Tim Mitchell, News-Gazette, Champaign, September 18

McLean County therapists in schools program get high marks
Paul Swiech, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, September 11

In today’s Leading News, a reportedly unmarked school bus in East Alton was actually marked but pixelated in a photo; officials encourage student and parents to continue to be aware of their surroundings. DeKalb CUSD 428 and its teachers reach a contract agreement. Springfield SD 186 will work with a federal mediator in its contract talks. Former employees have sued Zion SD 6 over whistleblower concerns. Also in the news, there’s a growing trend of schools hosting therapy animals.

That unmarked school bus in East Alton had markings after all, police say
Joseph Bustos, Belleville News-Democrat, September 16

DeKalb School District 428 Board OKs 4-year deal with teachers' union
Kelsey Rettke, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, September 17

Teachers, supporters form ‘sea of red’ at Monday rally
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, September 17

Lawsuit by former Zion District 6 employees claims retaliation for playing whistleblower in food theft
Emily K. Coleman. Lake County News-Sun, September 9

Use of therapy dogs in area schools is increasing
Robert Connelly, The Register-Mail, Galesburg, September 13

In today's Leading News, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visits a Rockford SD 205 high school that has a “different approach.” Murphysboro CUSD 186 teachers announce steps towards a strike date. After allegations against the principal surfaced, Colin Powell Middle School students in Elem SD 159 in Matteson walked out of class in favor of their former principal. Palatine CCSD 15 considers reassigning grade levels within its buildings. Also in the news, local police officers support Mattoon CUSD 2 teachers.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos tours Rockford Jefferson High School
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, September 16

Murphysboro teachers' union announces initial step toward strike
Isaac Smith, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, September 13

Matteson middle school students stage walkout
after new principal’s past sexual misconduct allegations surface
Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, September 16

Why District 15 is looking at changing which grades go to which schools
Bob Susnjara, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 12

Mattoon police donate $5,000 to help teachers with classroom needs
Rob Stroud, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, September 12

In today’s Leading News, United THSD 30 ponders low public turnout at its board meetings. Blue Ridge CUSD 18 teachers consider a strike. DeKalb CUSD 428 offers the youngest students a good start. Decatur schools aim to tell their story. Also in the news, Township HSD 211 (Palatine) will discuss locker-room access for transgender students.
The public never goes to board meetings at UTHS.
Is that a problem?
Graham Ambrose, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, September 9
Blue Ridge teachers prepare for possible strike
Howard Packowitz, WJBC, Bloomington, September 16
DeKalb's Early Learning Center works
toward getting 'the whole child' ready for school career
Kelsey Rettke, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, September 1
Decatur schools superintendent:
'We need to do a better job of telling our own story'
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, September 12
District 211 considering unrestricted locker-room access
for transgender students
Eric Peterson, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 12 

In today’s Leading News, should students have their phones in school? McLean Co Unit District 5 talks transportation troubles. Chicago Public Schools has agreed to federal oversight and reform in its handling of abuse and assault cases. The Valmeyer Board of Education issues a statement after a student displayed a combined U.S. and Confederate flag. Also in the news, a look at the potential impact of minimum salaries.

Should students be allowed to have cellphones in school?
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, September 11

Unit 5 hears parent, teacher responses to First Student bus troubles
Kelsey Watznauer, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, September 11

‘Extraordinary and appalling’ handling of sexual violence cases in Chicago Public Schools leads to federal oversight
Hannah Leone and David Jackson, Chicago Tribune, September 12

Valmeyer school district responds to Confederate flag controversy
Republic-Times, Monroe County, September 12

Brown County School District prepares for teacher salary hike
Kara Biernat, WGEM, Quincy, September 9

In today’s Leading News, offers were posted to IELRB Wednesday for Carbondale SD 95 teachers and support personnel. School districts make security a priority in drill activities and school facility renovations. Also in the news, college recruiters touting STEM-related opportunities join area school districts, robots, drones, and future scientists and engineers at a regional STEM Fair hosted by Rochester CUSD 3A.

Carbondale District 95 Board, teachers' union still gridlocked in contract negotiations
Isaac Smith, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, September 11

High school improves security, adds air conditioning
Marco Cartolano, Journal Courier, Jacksonville, September 10

Pekin prepares for potential school shootings
Montana Samuels, Pekin Times, September 6

Marion Unit 2 School District adds ballistic shieldto classrooms for extra protection
Temi Adeleye, WPSD, Paducah, September 6

STEM advocates find ‘like minds’ at Rochester fair
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, September 11

In today’s Leading News, Rockford SD 205 battles a ramsomware hack. The lights are back on at Freemont SD 79, which canceled class Tuesday due to a power outage stemming from storms. Dupo CUSD 196 schools were evacuated yesterday as a precautionary measure after a fiery train derailment. Freeport SD 145 holds a curriculum night. Also in the news, the Meridian Ag Foundation brings much-needed betterment to Meridian CUSD 15 (Macon County) and its renewed agriculture program.

Ransomware locks Rockford Public Schools' phones, internet
Kristen Zambo and Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, September 10

With power restored, classes will be back in session Wednesday in Dist. 79
Russell Lissau, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 10 

Tanker in Dupo train derailment fire apparently was carrying a solvent, railroad says
Mike Koziatek and Hana Muslic, Belleville News-Democrat, September 10

Curriculum Night gives parents an insight into their child’s education
Jane Lethlean, Freeport Journal Standard, September 6

Meridian schools bring back ag education
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, September 7

In today’s Leading News, as part of its strategic plan, St. Charles CUSD 303 develops a new citizen’s committee. Arcola CUSD 306 seeks to expand its elementary school. Waukegan CUSD 60 talks again about recording its school board meetings. Maine THSD 207 looks at the possibility of lower property taxes due to low interest rates on its bonds. Also in the news, proposed federal legislation, reintroduced by Illinois’ U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, would put seat belts on school buses.

Why St. Charles District 303 is creating a new citizen committee
Lauren Rohr, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 9

Arcola district moving forward on $2 million expansion for elementary school
Tim Mitchell, News-Gazette, Champaign, September 8

Proposal to record Waukegan District 60 school board meetings again hits resistance
Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, September 8

Lower Interest Rates Result In Bigger Dist. 207 Bond Sales, Lower Taxes
Igor Studenkov, Journal Topics, Chicago suburbs, September 5

Duckworth bill would help put seat belts on every U.S. schoolbus
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, September 6

In today’s Leading News, a judge rendered a decision in favor of DeKalb CUSD 428 in a lawsuit stemming from an individual's questions about student residency. Kankakee SD 111 students protest discipline measures from rulebook violations. Princeton ESD 115 drops a project after a survey and failed 2018 referendum. The THSD 113 school board gathers with its local elementary district boards. Also in the news, a federal lawsuit has been filed in Chicago over data security issues with testing company Pearson.

Judge tosses D-428 residency suit
Kevin Solari, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, September 6

12 students walkout at Kankakee H.S. protesting new rules
Jeff Bonty, Kankakee Daily Journal, September 1

All sides agree: PES’ building referendum is dead
Dave Cook, Bureau County Republican, September 5

Highland Park District 113 Announces Joint Special Meeting
Patch, Highland Park, September 5

Book publisher Pearson sued for exposing 1 million student records to hackers
Chicago Sun-Times, September 5

In today’s Leading News, CPS, the state’s largest school district, sets a date for a strike vote; 330 miles to the south, Carbondale SD 95 contract talks “intensify.” School is (finally) in session for Granite City High School students. With a certification waiver, Quincy schools employ competency-based teachers. Also in the news, the Rockford Register-Star reports on funding equity.

Chicago Teachers Union sets strike vote;
CPS counters that fair deal is already on the table
Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, September 4

Strike Talks Intensify in Carbondale District 95
Brad Palmer, WSIU, Carbondale, September 4

Some Granite City students had an extra 3 weeks of vacation.
How will the time be made up?
Kavahn Mansouri, Belleville News-Democrat, September 4

QPS thinks "outside the box" in hiring teachers
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, September 5

Rock River Valley school districts inch toward funding equity
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, August 31

In today’s Leading News, Unity Point SD 140 credits the county sales tax in helping fix facility issues. New laws are in place, and IASB’s Digest of Bills Passed gets TV time. Danville CCSD 118 commences an update to its strategic plan. Peru ESD 124 and area schools consider the minimum teacher salary. Also in the news, negotiations lead to a deal in Morton’s much-publicized e-sports debate.

County sales tax key in Unity Point mold cleanup
Gabriel Neely-Streit, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, August 3

Schools work to keep up with nearly 100 new education-related laws
Nikki McGee, WICS/WRSP, Springfield, September 3

District 118 to start strategic plan talks
Carol Roehm, Danville Commercial-News, September 4

Peru Schools: District should be able to meet salary mandate
Craig Sterr, LaSalle Tribune, August 31

Morton school board reverses course to allow e-sports team
WEEK, Peoria, September 3


In today’s Leading News, districts work to manage large class sizes. CPS students are back in school, with concerns about a possible teachers strike. School districts warned by ISBE about exclusionary disciplinary practices. Also in the news, the Tribune and Daily Herald report on the law mandating the teaching of the historical contributions of LBGT individuals.

Illinois schools finding ways to reduce class sizes
Kevin Beese, Chronicle Illinois, Cook County, September 3

360,000 Chicago students head back to school Tuesday
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, September 2

Rock Island-Milan, Silvis school districts cited for exclusionary disciplinary measures
Nicole Lauer, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, August 31

New law requires Illinois schools teach contributions of gay, transgender people: ‘It is past time children know the names of LGBTQ+ pioneers’
Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, September 3

Inclusion or indoctrination? How opposing sides view teaching LGBTQ history in schools
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 31

In today’s Leading News, a new CPS program offers career help to students. Hoopeston Area CUSD 11 seeks community input in advance of forum. A Williamsfield CUSD 210 plot goes solar. Suburban schools are filling Spanish-languageteaching jobs with instructors from Spain. Also in the news, a collaboration offers mental health resources to Piatt County students.

At-risk CPS grads find careers beyond minimum-wage jobs through new pilot program
Kate Thayer, Chicago Tribune, August 30

Hoopeston Area School District seeks questions for Community Engagement Forum
Jordan Crook, Hoopeston Chronicle, August 30

Williamsfield D210 to install solar garden
Robert Connelly, The Register-Mail, Galesburg, August 29

Instructors from Spain help teach bilingual classrooms at U46, D300, East Aurora schools
Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, September 1

Counseling help for county schools
Steve Hoffman, Piatt County Journal-Republican, August 29


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.