May 2021 Leading News

In today’s Leading News, a look at what is on the agenda in the education arena as the General Assembly is into its final session days.
Win, lose, or compromise: Clock ticks on key education bills in Springfield
Samantha Smylie and Cassie Walker Burke, Chalkbeat Chicago, May 27
Abortion foes to challenge 'culturally responsive' teaching standards
Peter Hancock, CNI/Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 25
Calls for an elected school board in Chicago intensify, state Senate leader says he’s still looking for a compromise
Hannah Leone and Dan Petrella, Chicago Tribune, May 26
Republican Bailey describes sex education bill as teaching ‘perversion’ — sparking Democratic outcry
Andrew Sullender and Rachel Hinton, Chicago Sun-Times, May 20
Proposal to ban hairstyle discrimination in Illinois passes out of committee, heads to House floor
WSIL, Carbondale, May 26

In today’s Leading News, we check in on coverage of several education-related issues before the General Assembly and a national look at where federal COVID-recovery stimulus money is going. Also in the news, the painting is on the walls in Springfield.
Bill To Expand Parental Leave For Teachers, School Workers Passes State Senate
Christine Hatfield, WSIU, Carbondale, May 26
Media literacy bill sent to governor
CNI/Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 25
After COVID-19 cut into last year’s session, state legislators face backlog of big issues as May 31 adjournment approaches
Rick Pearson and Dan Petrella, Chicago Tribune, May 24
Schools are getting record money under COVID stimulus. Will it help kids who need it most?
Erin Richards, USA Today, May 25
Artwork from Springfield High School students brings vibrancy to downtown storefronts
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, May 23

In today’s Leading News, a look at addressing barriers and components of inequities public education, including two schools that will be renamed.
Illinois colleges are losing Black students. Turning that around is key not just for equity but to ‘build jobs’ here, advocates say.
Clare Proctor, Chicago Tribune, May 24
Proposal seeks to address school ‘hairstyle discrimination’
AP/Belleville News-Democrat, May 24
Measure to supply menstrual products in all school bathrooms passes House
Grace Barbic, CNI/Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 20
CPS school to remove Andrew Jackson, former president and slaveholder, from its name
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, May 24
It's official: Thomas Jefferson will be renamed C.T. Vivian Primary School this summer
Leslie Renken, Peoria Journal Star, May 24

In today’s Leading News, coronavirus adjustments, and adaptations: CPS considers promoting all elementary and middle school students. Rockford schools plan outdoor graduations. Also in the news, downstate districts look ahead to in-person schooling.
CPS to Promote All Elementary, Middle School Students to Next Grade Level
Matt Masterson, WTTW, Chicago, May 24
From drive-thru diplomas to outdoor graduations, Rockford schools adapt to COVID disruptions
Shaquil Manigault, Rockford Register Star, May 22
Central Illinois superintendents react to return of in-person teaching
Kelsey Watznauer, Lenore Sobota, Bloomington Pantagraph, May 21
QHS plans changes "good for kids moving forward"
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, May 23
In Illinois, remote learning options this fall will be left to local school districts
Megan Valley, Belleville News-Democrat, May 20

In today’s Leading News, a municipal partnership in Champaign CUSD 4 aims to assist Black students and families. Community raises protest over services and support in Effingham CUSD 40. Bushnell-Prairie City CUSD 170 changes schedules to expand offerings of arts and ag in the junior high. Arts take on a twist in Galena USD 120. Also in the news, the General Assembly session continues with sex education requirements legislation on the agenda.
Champaign council OKs partnership with school district on program to help minority students
Ben Zigterman, Champaign News-Gazette, May 19
Protest leads to investigation at Unit 40 schools
Andrew Adams, EffinghamDaily News, May 21
Bushnell/Prairie City school board approves new school schedule
Tabi Jozwick, McDonough County Voice, May 21
A spectacular ‘Spectaculathon’ at Galena High School
Maya Dickerson, Galena Gazette, May 4
Comprehensive sex education bill passes Illinois Senate, will be considered by House
Dean Olsen, State Journal-Register, Springfield, May 21

In today’s Leading News, read additional takes on the ISBE motion to return all public schools in the state of Illinois to in-person learning. Also in th news, the Illinois Supreme Court will look at school funding.
ISBE approves mandate for in-person learning in 2021-22; cases remain steady
Zach Roth, State Journal-Register, Springfield, May 19
Illinois schools must reopen full time this fall, but mandate raises new questions about who will still qualify for remote learning and how quarantines will work
Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, May 19
Illinois set to mandate full-time in-person learning at public schools this fall
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, May 19
Illinois returning kids to class this fall
Ron DeBrock, Alton Telegraph, Pay 19
State High Court Weighs — Again — Whether Education Funding Goals Are Constitutionally Required
Derek Cant├╣, NPR Illinois, May 18

In today’s Leading News, the latest on decision-making associated with the coronavirus pandemic. ISBE states its direction on in-person learning for the fall. Mask guidance is changing but some are waiting. East St. Louis extends its school year, and suburban school districts consider COVID testing strategies. Also in the news, DuPage teens get vaccinated.
State education board votes for return to fully in-person learning this fall
Madhu Krishnamurthy and Marni Pyke, Shaw Local/Daily Herald, May 19
To mask or not to mask? New rules in Illinois and Chicago raise new questions for residents, from doctors to schoolteachers
Alison Bowen, Chicago Tribune, May 18
East St. Louis has a longer school year because of COVID. It might be the only one.
Megan Valley, Belleville News-Democrat, May 19
Jury out on whether saliva tests will continue in D96, 102
Bob Skolnik, Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, May 18
DuPage teens relieved to get vaccinated against COVID-19: ‘My parents are glad I finally have the shot’
David Sharos, Naperville Sun, May 18
In today’s Leading News, South Beloit class of 2020 gets graduation ceremony. Electric buses cut pollution and spark interest. Foreign language classes during COVID-19. Decatur Prep welcomes dual credit students.

South Beloit Class of 2020 gets graduation ceremony
Clint Wolf, Beloit Daily News, May 16

Electric buses cut pollution and spark interest, but there's a cost conundrum
Marni Pyke, Daily Herald, May 17

Will foreign language classes be a COVID-19 casualty?
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, May 17

Decatur Prep Academy students welcomed to dual credit program
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, May 17


In today’s Leading News, job opportunities start quick for Decatur grads. A suburban district hires a diversity director. Community feedback is sought on consolidation idea in central Illinois. Overhiring helps Quincy Public Schools fill openings.
Job opportunities start quickly for Decatur grads
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald & Review, May 15
District 303 hires diversity director
Eric Shelkopf, Daily Herald, May 13
Community feedback sought on Bluffs/Winchester consolidation idea
Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree, Jacksonville Journal-Courier, May 17
Overhiring helps Quincy Public Schools fill openings for 2021-22
Deborah Gertz Husar, Quincy Herald-Whig, May 12



In today’s Leading News, crowds limits eased in Illinois. CPS music teacher surprised with a Golden Apple award. Two St. Clair county schools are offering the vaccine for students. Teachers’ union president is ‘all in’ on fall reopening. Trap shooting is growing in popularity as a high school sport.
Crowd limits eased, mask mandates likely next as Illinois enters next-to-last phase of COVID-19 reopening plan Friday
Dan Petrella, Gregory Pratt, Jenny Widden, Chicago Tribune, May 13
CPS music teacher surprised with award Thursday
Chicago Tribune, May 13
Two St. Clair County school districts are hosting COVID vaccine clinics for students
Megan Valley, Belleville News-Democrat, May 13
Teachers union president is ‘all in’ on full fall reopening
Collin Brinkley, AP/Shaw Media, May 13
Trap shooting is growing in popularity as a high school sport
John Keilman, Chicago Tribune, May 14

In today’s Leading News, plans are falling into place for vaccinations and testing. Also in the news, read the latest on summer learning.
Vaccinations for 12-15-year-olds could begin Thursday; Illinois crosses 10M shots
Zach Roth, State Journal-Register, May 11
With younger teens now vaccine eligible, schools aim to be their source for COVID-19 shots: ‘Make it available in a place they already are’
Karen Ann Cullotta and John Keilman, Chicago Tribune, May 12
Reading and writing — and rapid COVID-19 tests? Pritzker unveils $225 million fall program for middle, high schools
Mitchell Armentrout, Chicago Sun-Times, May 12
Do kids need to catch up in school or take a break this summer?
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 10
Summer school seeing all-time high with learning gaps
Jennifer Bailey, Danville Commercial News, May 13

In today’s Leading News, Galena looks for a change in graduation honors. Entrepreneurs get their ideas highlighted through CEO programs. Alton builds a gym. Quincy looks at options for co-teaching. Also in the news, a “literacy garden” sounds like a beautiful idea.
Galena School Board considers change in district’s graduation recognition
Hillary Dickerson, Galena Gazette, May 10
Student entrepreneurs showcase business ventures at area trade shows
Les O'Dell, Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, May 10
Walls going up for Alton gym
John Badman, Alton Telegraph, May 10
QJHS plans to add co-teaching in classrooms for 2021-22 school year
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, May 7
Grant money will bring 'literacy garden' to Stevenson school
Kelsey Watznauer, Bloomington Pantagraph, May 2
In today’s Leading News, as Illinois moves into the “bridge phase” and approval of COVID-19 vaccines for ages 12-15 is on the way, will these be game-changing factors? CPS officials aim for in-person learning in the fall. Also in the news, Illinois ponders college admissions requirements.
Illinois' 'Bridge Phase' of COVID-19 restrictions is coming. What will that mean?
Marni Pyke, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 8
Vaccines for youths 12-15 may start as soon as Thursday
Debra Pressey, Champaign News-Gazette, May 10
FAQ: What You Need To Know About Pfizer's COVID Vaccine And Adolescents
Pien Huang, National Public Media, May 11
In-person school should be ‘mandatory’ for CPS students in the fall, CPS CEO says
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, May 7
Proposal to drop entrance exam requirements at public universities advances in Illinois legislature
Elyssa Cherney, Chicago Tribune, May 7

In today’s Leading News, read follow-ups on the departure of CPS CEO Janice Jackson. Galesburg CUSD 205 reaches a deal with its teachers. Aurora-area districts continue to discuss participation in a STEM partnership. Also in the news, a foundation offers funds to support teachers in rural districts.  
The unfinished legacy of outgoing CPS CEO Janice Jackson
Lauren FitzPatrick and Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, May 7
Departing CPS CEO Janice Jackson has been tied to the district since preschool. Can her replacement succeed without such deep Chicago roots?
Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, May 8
Galesburg District 205 teachers get 3-year contract; includes $1,400 incentive for new teachers
Matt Koester, Galesburg Register-Mail, May 5
West Aurora intends to withdraw from STEM Partnership School
Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, May 4
Tracy Family Foundation supporting rural teacher program
Jacksonville Journal Courier, May 3

In today’s Leading News, as state budget discussions continue, the outlook for public education funding improves. Also in the news, reopening and reflecting on impacts of and recovery from the pandemic.
Pritzker now says budget can include added $350 million for schools
Jerry Nowicki and Tim Kirsininkas, CNI/Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 6
Decatur educators react to Biden proposal
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, April 29
"We have a lot of work to do"
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, April 30
Burned out but hopeful: Teachers look back on the year of pandemic educating, from virtual learning to fights over reopening schools
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, May 7
Many worry about ‘learning loss,’ but has this really been a lost year for CPS students?
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, May 3

In today’s Leading News, the state moves into the “bridge phase” of reopening, as Illinois school districts consider the near-term and long-term impacts of the pandemic.
Illinois to move into 'bridge phase' of COVID reopening plan on May 14
The Southern Illinoisan, May 6
With annual AP exams underway, some students feel ‘wildly unprepared’ because of the pandemic
Clare Proctor, Chicago Tribune, May 5
Bement Schools Superintendent Hoping for Fewer Restrictions on Schools in 2021-22
DeWitt Daily News, May 4
Oswego School District to limit remote learning for next school year
Shea Lazansky, Kendall County Now, May 3
Peoria students will have less fall class time than before COVID for these reasons
Leslie Renken, Peoria Journal Star, April 29

In today’s Leading News, check out recent media coverage of education-related issues before the Illinois General Assembly.
Securing $350 million in school funding crucial for Democrats in state budget talks
JJ Bullock, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April; 30
Senate committee advances bills on sex ed, decriminalizing HIV transmission
Raymon Troncoso, CNI/Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, May 5
Chicago State Senator Seeks To Stop School Dress Code Restrictions On Hair
Christine Hatfield, WGLT, Normal, May 4
Illinois continues legislative trend to diversify school curriculums
Jakob Emerson, WICS, Springfield, May 5
State Senate President Harmon wants an elected Chicago school board – but only partly for now
Andrew Sullender, Chicago Sun-Times, April 30

In today’s Leading News, read the coverage and response to the change in leadership at Chicago Public Schools. Also in the news, after  year without them, high school proms take a new look.
National Search For New CPS Leader Begins As CEO Announces Plans To Step Down
Sarah Karp, WBEZ, Chicago, May 3
Full-time in-person school will be default in the fall, departing CPS chief Janice Jackson says: ‘The mayor and I ... pushed hard to get our kids back sooner’
Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, May 4
CPS CEO lets loose about CTU: ‘Right now, the politics in education are ugly’
Fran Spielman and Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, May 3
Prom in the COVID era means no dancing, food trucks, outdoor venues
Katlyn Smith, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 1
Bus garage will double as dance floor this weekend for Herscher High prom
Kankakee Daily Journal, May 1

In today’s Leading News, as high schools consider options for encouraging students to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, Illinois considers requiring vaccinations for college students. Related, and also in the news, look for more school-aged children to be eligible next week.
Stevenson High School partners with Northbrook pediatrics group to get COVID-19 shots for students 16 and older
Pioneer Press/Lincolnshire Review, April 30
CPS aims to help teens get COVID-19 shots. The teachers union wants a student vaccine goal met before fall classes start.
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, April 30
Suburban school districts step up efforts to vaccinate teens
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 2
Pritzker considering vaccine requirement for students returning to state universities
Mitchell Armentrout, Chicago Sun-Times, April 28
FDA expected to OK Pfizer vaccine for teens within week
Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire, Associated Press/WGN Radio, Chicago, May 3

In today’s Leading News, read media coverage of education issues, including the latest on the teacher shortage, bill action in the state legislature, and coronavirus-related changes to school attendance and summer meals for students.
Despite Fewer Job Openings, Educators Say Teacher Shortage Is Far From
Christine Hatfield, Peoria Public Radio, April 28
Property tax legislation approved by Illinois Senate adjusts how state tax cap works for school districts, other taxing bodies
Emily K. Coleman, Shaw Media, Kane County, April 23
General Assembly passes hundreds of bills as session's end approaches
Sarah Mansur, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 26
Private schools, homeschooling see uptick as some families exit public education amid COVID
Zach Roth, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 25
Biden expanding summer food program for 34M schoolchildren
Josh Boak, Associated Press, Alton Telegraph, April 26

Leading News

IASB's News Clip Service

The links to articles posted here are selected daily from news sources across Illinois, and sometimes beyond, 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 site a wider perspective on state and local issues impacting public education. IASB neither endorses nor verifies the content.