April 2022 Leading News

In today’s Leading News, Governor JB Pritzker has signed legislation that aims to alleviate the teacher, staff, and substitute shortages in districts. Some state office candidates offer support for changes to sex ed, parents’ rights issues, and school choice. CPS hears from stakeholders about budget cuts. Also in the news, tickets for students: A new Tribune and Pro Publica collaboration examines school misbehavior, discipline, and policing.
Pritzker signs 4 laws to tackle shortage of teachers, aides
John O’Connor, AP/Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, April 28

Pritzker signs bills aimed at easing teacher shortage amid data suggesting progress
Peter Hancock, CNI/Champaign News-Gazette, April 27

Illinois candidates pledge support for Florida-style sex ed reform, ban on teaching CRT
Andrew Adams, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 28
Parents protest school budget cuts as CPS CEO defends against ‘incomplete’ claims
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, April 27
The Price Kids Pay: Schools and Police Punish Students with Costly Tickets for Minor Misbehavior
Jodi S. Cohen, ProPublica, and Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune, April 28

In today’s Leading News, two districts make news with discussions of equity. Hoopeston Area CUSD 11 students get lessons about impaired driving. Also in the news, Yorkville CUSD 115 approves full-day kindergarten, and at the other end of the K-12 timeline, Highland CUSD 5 plans its 2022 graduation.

Hinsdale District 86 equity leader highlights impact of implicit bias, achievement gaps between students of different racial groups
Zareen Syed, Pioneer Press/The Doings, Hinsdale, April 23

Equity audit underway in St. Charles School District
Eric Schelkopf, Kane County Chronicle, April 22

Hoopeston students show drunken driving consequences
Danville Commercial-News, April 26

Yorkville SD115 Board approves full-day kindergarten to start with 2022-23 year
Mark Foster, Kendall County Now, April 27

This metro-east high school plans outdoor graduation ceremony with no COVID protocols
Elizabeth Donald, Highland News Leader, April 25
In today’s Leading News, after a new sentencing, a Coles County court sends a man to prison for the 2017 school shooting at the high school cafeteria of Mattoon CUSD 3.  Quincy SD 172 reconsiders graduation honors. The Sauk Valley News explains how Dixon Unit SD 179 was able to not miss the bus. An Alton CUSD 11 elementary school has a new open-air classroom. Also in the news, the IHSA hosts its first esports state championships.

Police: Mattoon school shooter sentenced to 25 years in prison
Rob Stroud, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, April 25

QHS looking at eliminating valedictorian, salutatorian recognition
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, April 21

Supply chain shortage almost shuts the door on Dixon High School’s activity bus
Troy E. Taylor, Sauk Valley News, April 22

East Elementary celebrates new outdoor classroom
Dylan Suttles, Alton Telegraph, April 22

Here are the 126 Illinois gamers headed to the first IHSA esports state finals
Wes Huett, Peoria Journal Star, April 26

In today’s Leading News, Springfield SD 186 plans to reconstruct Lanphier High School. Schools deal with the rising costs of sporting goods. Rantoul City Schools SD 137 earns grants with plans for safer routes. CPS student art gets displayed in a larger-than-life way.  Also in the news, campaigns for local school board in Illinois will kick off later this year, and many will be impacted by polarization.
Here's what's included in Lanphier High School's $93.2 million reconstruction project
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 14
How Illinois high schools handle the rising price and scarcity of sporting goods
Matt Trowbridge, Rockford Register Star, April 22
Rantoul elementary gets $250,000 Safe Routes to School grant
Dave Hinton, Champaign News-Gazette, April 21
CPS students’ self-portraits find impressive canvas
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, April 21
School board races will not be exempt from increased polarization
Lyndsay Jones, WGLT, Normal, April 22

In today’s Leading News, the Pantagraph looks at response the findings of state overpayments to CPS. A warned-of summer strike is averted in Palatine-based Township HSD 211. Two north-central Illinois districts consider consolidation. A conversation on mental health brings issues to light. Also in the news, Kewanee USD 229 students get a look at healthcare careers.

Central Illinois school districts to receive thousands in correction payments
Connor Wood, Bloomington Pantagraph, April 21

District 211 teachers retreat from strike threat after reaching tentative contract
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, April 18

Two rural school districts say the solution to their challenges could be combining into one bigger, brand-new district.
Peter Medlin, Northern Public Radio, April 18

'Everybody struggles': Neuqua Valley students discuss mental health with surgeon general, Underwood
Kevin Schmit, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 18

Kewanee High School students get career taste at OSF during Kiwanis Career Day
Kewanee Star Courier, April 22
In today’s Leading News, the News-Democrat looks at the state budget impacts on the Metro East. CPS can ask for proof of vaccine or weekly COVID testing while a lawsuit continues. Also in the news, on Earth Day, schools and students look for ways to protect the planet.

$46 billion state budget includes millions for metro-east. Where will the money go?
Kelsey Landis, Belleville News-Democrat, April 25

Illinois appellate court reinstates CPS requirement that employees must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or test weekly
Tracy Swartz, Chicago Tribune, April 21

ETHS student activists lead first Climate Justice Conference
Aviva Bechky, Daily Northwestern, Evanston, April 21

Lincolnshire school looking for ideas on what to do with leftover lunch containers
Mark Welsh, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 19

Ottawa High students clean up East Side Park for Earth Day
Ottawa Times/Shaw Media, April 22
In today’s Leading News, it’s voting week for Chicago Public Schools’ local school councils. Springfield SD 186 sponsors a high school teen court mock trial program. Bloomington SD 86 looks at the junior high  math curriculum. Indian Prairie SD 204 and its teachers have a new contract. Also in the news, students get a glimpse of construction in progress at Maroa-Forsyth CUSD 2.

Local School Council elections happening this week at 500 CPS schools: Born of reform, some now struggle to attract candidates
Tracy Swartz, Chicago Tribune, April 19

Southeast High School teen court will have student offenders face a jury of their peers
Tiffani Jackson, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 18

New math curriculum approved for Bloomington Junior High; board member resigns
Kelsey Watznauer, Bloomington Pantagraph, April 14

District 204 teachers receiving 5% pay raises in first two years of new four-year contract
Kevin Schmit, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 19

Maroa-Forsyth Middle School construction underway
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, April 19

In today’s Leading News, read media coverage of the state’s $46 billion budget package. Also in the news, catch up in coronavirus headlines.  

What’s in Illinois’ $46 billion budget package?
Peter Hancock, CNI/The Southern Illinoisan, April 20

A state budget with ‘firm fiscal foundation’ that shows ‘tremendous progress?’ Or a ‘cynical’ election-year ploy to buy votes?
Mitchell Armentrout, Chicago Sun-Times, April 19

Gov. JB Pritzker signs $46.5B budget including rebates, checks to Illinois taxpayers
Andrew Adams, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 19

Federal COVID-19 funds are helping low-income Illinois schools catch up, but for how long?
Susie An, WBEZ, Chicago, April 14

Appellate court allows state vaccine mandate on teachers, other public employees to continue
Peter Hancock, CNI/Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 15
In today's Leading News, catch up on tax relief in the state budget and more.

Illinois tax relief includes rebates, pause on food, gas taxes. Here's
when to expect money

Andrew Adams, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 18

North Chicago voters might again elect their school board after a decade of state control
Steve Sadin, Lake County News-Sun, April 15

Palatine District 15 considering $93 million tax-hike request this fall
Eric Peterson, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 7

Elementary board: Grant application to continue HUB Program funding approved
Jeff Helfrich, Rochelle News-Leader, April 15

Despite complications, new Champaign Central addition set for summer completion
Anthony Zilis, News-Gazette, Champaign, April 15

In today’s Leading News, a national poll shows division and uncertainty over what’s being taught in schools. The national discussion of book removal is a local one as well. Homewood-Flossmoor CHSD 233 students bring concerns to the board of education. Also in the news, Springfield SD 186 honors its valedictorian, 38 years on.
Talk of race, sex in schools divides Americans: AP-NORC poll
Hannah Fingerhut, AP/ Alton Telegraph, April 14
Book bans and restrictions are on the rise in U.S. schools, says report, including a few cases in Illinois
Nara Schoenberg, Chicago Tribune, April 14
Ottawa High School Board will not remove ‘The Kite Runner’ from curriculum
Michael Urbanec, Ottawa Times, April 13
H-F board says it's listening but can't speak on student concerns
Marilyn Thomas, Homewood Flossmoor Chronicle, April 2
A Springfield High grad was snubbed the valedictorian title. 38 years later, she gets the honor
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 16

In today’s Leading News, a tutoring program is underway in Southern Illinois. Waukegan CUSD 60 offers new services at its new HQ. Automotive students in Township HSD 211 (Palatine) get a boost. Students at Meridian CUSD 15 (Macon) sell baked goods to support Ukrainian families. Also in the news, a new obstacle course makes a splash in Danville CCSD 118.

SIU, SIC to offer tutoring for K-12 students who fell behind during pandemic
Kenzie Dillow, WSIL, Carterville, April 13

Former bank building to house more than Waukegan D60′s offices; ‘It will be a one-stop shop’ for a variety of family services
Steve Sadin, Lake County News-Sun, April 13

Rotarians buying tools for District 211 automotive students 
Rotary Club of Schaumburg/Hoffman Estates, Daily Herald, April 11

Meridian students sell baked goods to support Ukrainian refugee families
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, April 8

DHS students have new obstacle course on water
Jennifer Bailey, Danville Commercial News, April 9

In today’s Leading News, things return to normal in DuQuoin CUSD 300 as it reconsiders a decision on its transportation provider after a driver walkout. Students explore manufacturing opportunities in Jo Daviess County. Peoria Public Schools answers questions about proposed wraparound services. Also in the news, the conversation continues on schools using “native mascots
Is it finally over? District 300 expecting all buses working Tuesday
Renee Trappe, DuQuoin Call, April 12
Du Quoin Dist. 300 bus drivers stage walkout, convince school district to find different carrier
Renee Trappe, Daily Republican, Marion, April 11
Lessons for the future: Area students visit area employers for NWILED manufacturing day event
Brandon Behlke, Galena Gazette, April 12
After concerns addressed, Peoria school board approves STI testing and Narcan distribution
Leslie Renken, Peoria Journal Star, April 12
'They are promoting a stereotype': Illinois schools pushed to retire native mascots
Peter Medlin, Northern Public Radio, DeKalb, April 13

In today’s Leading News, property tax concerns and coronavirus response. Also in the news, popcorn.

As Cook County property tax bills again face long delays, officials point fingers over who’s to blame
Alice Yin, Chicago Tribune, April 11

What impact do exemptions for disabled vets have on your property taxes? Are they fair?
Kelsey Landis, Belleville News-Democrat, April 11

Judge grants temporary restraining order against CPS for 6 teachers who sued over vaccine mandate
Katie Anthony, Chicago Sun-Times, April 9

With aid to spend, schools look for students who need help
Collin Binkley, Associated Press/Belleville News-Democrat, April 11

Popomics: Students learn genomics thanks to popcorn
Lauren Quinn, U of I ACES, Herald-Whig, Quincy, April 2

In Tuesday’s Leading News, read the recaps of the close of the General Assembly session.

Election-year politics make crime, inflation top issues in shortened legislative session
Rick Pearson, Dan Petrella, Jeremy Gorner and Clare Spaulding, Chicago Tribune, April 10

Illinois lawmakers pass $46.5 billion budget with tax relief and increased spending
Andrew Adams, State Journal-Register, Springfield, April 9

Everything that happened during Illinois lawmakers' last jam-packed week in Springfield
Brenden Moore, Decatur Herald and Review, April 10

Lawmakers OK $46.5B budget in overnight session
Jerry Nowicki and Peter Hancock, CNI/Alton Telegraph, April 10

Illinois lawmakers pass budget with more money for schools, tax relief for families
Samantha Smylie, Chalkbeat Chicago, April 11


In today’s Leading News, the Tribune reports that ISBE is working to rectify a coding error from 2018 that saw funding diverted to CPS.  Read a preview of the Asian American history lessons coming in the fall. A former Lincoln-Way CHSD 210 property is undergoing another sale. A grant brings cellos to Quincy SD 172. Also in the news, gardens grow in Genoa-Kingston CUSD 424.

Chicago Public Schools asked to repay $87 million it got from ‘coding error’; state funds were due to other Illinois districts
Tracy Swartz, Dan Petrella, and Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, April 10

‘A lot of different cultures’: Lessons in Asian American history coming to schools this fall
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Shaw Media/Daily Herald, April 11

Tinley Park selling land it recently purchased from Lincoln-Way District 210 for $1.5 million
Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, April 6

Grant supplies cellos to QPS music department
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, April 5

NIU assistant professor to teach gardening classes in Genoa Elementary School
DeKalb Daily Chronicle, April 10

In today’s Leading News, the state’s Whole Child Task Force releases a report. A few school-related items are located in a proposed tax relief plan. The ROWVA CUSD 208 school board meets with candidates for open board seats. A CPS high school holds conversations after a video was posted that was “racist and offensive.” Also in the news, cultural exchange continues despite COVID between SD 61 and Decatur’s sister city in Japan.
Illinois 'Whole Child Task Force' report recommends trauma-responsive training for teachers
Peter Medlin, Northern Public Radio, April 6
Illinois Senate Democrats introduce mostly temporary $1.8 billion tax relief proposal
Jerry Nowicki, CNI/Danville Commercial-News, April 4
Six more candidates join field to vie for two open board seats in ROWVA
Tom Martin, Galesburg Register-Mail, April 7
Racist dating video at Lincoln Park High School sparks difficult conversations among students
Susie An, Adriana Cardona-Maguigad, Chicago Sun-Times, April 5
Johns Hill students take personal approach to artwork shared with Japanese sister city
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, March 31

In today’s Leading News, the new contract in Champaign CUSD 4 gets approval from teachers. Indian Prairie CUSD 204 updates its transportation plan. Oak Park-River Forest HSD 200 considers athletic facility upgrades East St. Louis SD 189 celebrates accomplishment and improvements.  Also in the news, read what’s behind a law that would track school districts not in compliance with threat assessment laws.

After contentious negotiations, Unit 4 teachers vote to ratify contract, avoid strike
Anthony Zilis, Champaign News-Gazette, April 6

District 204 officials announce transportation plan for new boundary proposal
Kevin Schmit, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 5

OPRF students, faculty urge overhaul of athletic facilities
Igor Studenkov, Wednesday Journal, Oak Park, March 30

This principal says her state award reflects the work of many in East St. Louis schools
Megan Valley, Belleville News-Democrat, April 5

Illinois soon could track which school districts don’t comply with Illinois Threat Assessment Law
Shaw Media, Northern Illinois, April 5
In today’s Leading News, Governor JB Pritzker has signed the bill granting paid leave to vaccinated school employees who miss time due to coronavirus. Arlington Heights SD 24 plans community engagement before a June referendum. Springfield SD 186 considers changing its insurance provider.  Also in the news, WGLT looks at “grow your own” teacher programs.

Paid COVID-19 leave for vaccinated Illinois educators signed into law
Peter Hancock, CNI/Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, April 5

COVID-related paid leave for fully vaccinated teachers and staff now guaranteed in Illinois
Claire Spaulding, Chicago Tribune, April 5

District 25 planning eight public forums ahead of June referendum
Christopher Placek, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 6

Pending school board vote, why Blue Cross is out as Springfield D186 healthcare provider
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, April 4

What it will take for more Illinois school districts to 'grow your own' teachers
Lyndsay Jones, WGLT, Normal, March 31

In today’s Leading News, the state plans to use federal relief funds for a “a research-backed education grounded in the civil rights movement” to support low-income students. West Aurora USD 129 considers a change to graduation honors. Alton CUSD 11 and its teachers reach a contract agreement. Also in the news, boards at Hoopeston Area CUSD 11 and Effingham CUSD 40 approve facilities projects.
Illinois to use $17 million in federal COVID-19 aid to fund Freedom Schools
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, April 4
West Aurora School District may end valedictorian system
Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, April 3
Alton school board, union agree on new contract
Dylan Suttles, Alton Telegraph, April 1
Hoopeston school board approves renovation contracts
Carol Hicks, Danville Commercial-News, March 25
Unit 40 approves bid for South Side renovations
Zach Roth, Effingham Daily News, March 29

In Monday’s Leading News, the teachers union in THSD 211 in Palatine says it could strike if the current contract is expires this summer without agreement. Proviso THSD 209 students return after that district’s teachers strike. A hazing incident is being reported at New Trier THSD 203. Students have protested, and CPS has removed a teacher from the classroom, after a report the teacher “hung a Black doll by its neck from a cord at the front of his classroom.” Also in the news, students with high-risk medical needs adapt to maskless schools.

District 211 teachers threaten strike
Nicola Andrews, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, March 31

Teachers union votes to approve contract after two-week strike in Proviso Township high school district
Jermaine Nolen, Chicago Sun-Times, March 31

New Trier boys lacrosse team put on probation after hazing report
Daniel I. Dorfman, Pioneer Press/Winnetka Talk, March 31

CPS removes teacher who hung Black doll from cord in classroom
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, March 30

‘How do we keep Lela safe?’ Schools turn scary for high-risk kids with COVID mask mandates gone
Brian Munoz St. Louis Public Radio/Belleville News Democrat, March 31

In today’s Leading News, more om the strike-averting deal reached this week between Champaign CUSD 4 and its teachers. Decatur SD 61 students shoot hoops. A crossing guard for Barrington CUSD 220 schools has hits the streets twice a day for 26 years. Alton CUSD 11’s foundation sees results of its work. Also in the news, SEL programs relating to gender and racial equity draw criticism.
'Such a relief': Champaign school board, teachers union say they have a deal
Ethan Simmons, Champaign News-Gazette, March 31
Decatur schools' adults vs. kids basketball game a lesson in sportsmanship
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, March 30
School crossing guards are hard to find. In Barrington, Fred Welstead has been on the job 26 years — and just turned 89.
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, March 25
Alton teachers show off grant-funded projects
Dylan Suttles, Alton Telegraph, March 20
In ‘social-emotional learning,’ right sees more critical race theory
Laura Meckler, Washington Post, March 28

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.