January 2023 Leading News

In today’s Leading News, outgoing State Superintendent Carmen I. Ayala addresses the direction of equity in education. Locally, school board and Chicago mayoral candidates discuss education issues. Also in the news, is preschool for every child in Illinois’ future?

Illinois Superintendent of Education Carmen Ayala Reflects On Pandemic, Addressing Inequities In Education
Eunice Alpasan, WTTW, Chicago, January 28

Questions at District 211 candidates forum focus on use of controversial sex ed curriculum
Eric Peterson, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs,  January 28

Declining enrollment, empty schools, union battles: Mayoral candidates grapple with big challenges in Chicago Public Schools
A.D. Quig, Alice Yin and Gregory Pratt, Chicago Tribune, January 29

Unit 5 school board candidates weigh in on proposed cuts, referendum
Connor Wood, Bloomington Pantagraph, January 28

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has vowed to bring preschool to every Illinois child. That’s easier said than done.
Sarah Macaraeg and Zareen Syed, Chicago Tribune, January 30
In today’s Leading News, school districts are finding ways to share student voice. Also in the news, two new clinics will continue a trend of district-supported healthcare facilities.

Oswego SD308 student ambassadors making an impact on school board
Mark Foster, Kendal County Now, January 30

‘Let the revolution begin’; Waukegan’s newest student school board member promises ‘to have my voice heard’
Steve Sadin, Lake County News-Sun, January 27

Council makes high school students’ voices heard
Murphy Obershaw, Galena Gazette, January 24

'A community space': New District 21 administration building will include health clinic
Christopher Placek, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 23

DHS health clinic to open Monday
Jennifer Bailey, Danville Commercial News, January 28
In today’s Leading News, Northern Public Radio looks at post-pandemic performance in schools. Governors exchange opinions with AP courses in the middle. CPS teachers seek parent leave on par with city employees. Prospect Heights SD 23 will put a question of safety and security and operating funds on the April 4 ballot. Also in the news, art for everyone.

How schools are trying to get student scores back to pre-pandemic levels -- and beyond
Peter Medlin, Northern Public Radio, January 26

Pritzker: Don’t change high school AP course to appease DeSantis and ‘Florida’s racist and homophobic laws’
Tina Sfondeles, Chicago Sun-Times, January 25

CTU brings demand for ‘equitable’ parental leave to Chicago Board of Education: ‘We deserve that’
Sarah Macaraeg, Chicago Tribune, January 25

Prospect Hts. District 23 will seek tax hike to fund full-day kindergarten, building upgrades
Steve Zalusky, Daily Herald, January 25

Special creations: 'Art speaks when (students) may not be able to express themselves'
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, January 24
In today’s Leading News, an investigation continues into the death of a student hit by a suburban school bus. The investigation continues into the shooting of a teacher at a Richneck, Virginia elementary school. Naperville CUSD 203 discusses the arrangement of its music curriculum. Champaign CUSD 4 announces school assignment updates. Also in the news, explore the magic of Mold-A-Rama.

Park Forest police say investigation continues in death of student hit by school bus
Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, January 22

School admins were warned 3 times the day a 6-year-old shot a Virginia teacher, lawyer says
Denise Lavoie, Associated Press/Chicago Tribune, January 25

District 203 board narrowly approves curricular requirement for music programs
Kevin Schmit, Daily Herald, January 24

Champaign school board signs off on new middle school assignments
Ethan Simmons, Champaign News-Gazette, January 23

Photos: Mold-A-Rama exhibit
Chicago Tribune, January 20
In today’s Leading News, read how Illinois and neighboring states are addressing national issues and trends in education.

Congress got rid of a free lunch for all program. That means some students are going hungry
Kayla Jimenez, USA Today, January 11

Missouri hearing kicks off bitter Capitol clash over transgender rights, school curriculum
Jonathan Shorman, Kansas City Star, January 24

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signs private school bill
Caleb McCullough, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, January 24

It's good for kids and the environment. So why aren't more students walking to school?
Marni Pyke, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 23

Are snow days a thing of the past? Here's how schools decide
KSDK, St. Louis, January 23
In today’s Leading News, two students are dead after a shooting at an Iowa charter school for at-risk students in Des Moines. Danville CCSD 118 allots funds for school and street sign improvements. Kankakee SD 111 moves forward with transportation plan. Alton CUSD 11 may sell a school building. Also in the news, THSD 214 (Arlington Heights) employs temporary leadership.  

Authorities: 2 students dead, adult injured in Des Moines school shooting
Scott McFetridge and Josh Funk, AP/Chicago Tribune, January 24

Danville school board OKs $11.8 million bid for Bailey Academy project, $21,600 for seven digital speeding signs
Jeff D’Alessio, Champaign News-Gazette, January 21

Kankakee School District moving ahead with transportation department
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal,  January 14

District plans to seek bids for McKinley School
Dylan Suttles, Alton Telegraph, January 10

Two leaders overseeing District 214 upon longtime superintendent's departure
Christopher Placek, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 21
In today’s Leading News, DeKalb CUSD 428 deals with learning space considerations. Effingham CISD 40 eyes its strategic plan. The teacher shortage remains on-topic with a  pathway program in Sauk Valley schools. Bloomington SD 87 assesses it SEL curriculum. Also in the news, read about a residency question in a CPS school.

DeKalb District 428 band teacher questions proposal to expand Huntley Middle School lunch into band space
Megann Horstead, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, January 20

Unit 40 discusses strategic plan
Dawn Schabbing, Effingham Daily News, January 19

Sauk Valley trying to combat teacher shortage
Derek Bayne, WREX, Rockford, January 18

District 87 approves new social emotional learning curriculum
Kelsey Watznauer, Bloomington Pantagraph, January 18

CPS wants former student’s family to pay $56,000 over allegations of lying about residency
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, January 5
In today’s Leading News, Township HSD 211 (Palatine) plans a forum for school board candidates. McLean Co Unit District 5 will hold a meeting to consider budget cuts. North Clay CUSD 25 looks at facilities projects. LaMoille CUSD 303 joins other districts in its area to establish mental health programs. Also in the news, good attendance brought game time to some Decatur SD 61 students.

Forum for District 211 candidates scheduled for Jan. 28
Eric Peterson, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 18

Unit 5 board plans Jan. 31 meeting on budget cuts
Connor Wood, Bloomington Pantagraph,  January 19

North Clay Board Discusses Goals for Building and Renovation Work
Greg Sapp, WXEF, Effingham, January 19

Arukah Institute of Healing and La Moille Schools secure $6.86 million mental health grant
Jayce Eustice, Bureau County Republican, January 18

Gaming day surprises Stephen Decatur students with good attendance
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review,  January 13
In today’s Leading News, Chalkbeat talks with State Superintendent Ayala, who is retiring. Bradley-Bourbonnais CHSD 307 seeks solar power. Barrington CUSD 220 sets its levy. Vermillion County looks at the County School Facility sales tax. Also in the news, Meredosia-Chambersburg CUSD 11 encourages ag studies for girls.

Departing State Superintendent Carmen Ayala looks back at her tenure, COVID challenges
Samantha Smylie, Chalkbeat Chicago, January 17

BBCHS looks to get solar panels for school, farm property
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal,  January 13

Barrington School District 220 board gives nod to $150M tax levy, asking taxpayers for $5M more than the current one
Elizabeth Owens-Schiele, Pioneer Press/Barrington Courier, January 10

Schools sales tax referendum working way back to voters
Jennifer Bailey, Danville Commercial News, January 7

Meredosia schools supporting girls in agriculture
Shirley Bilyeu, Jacksonville Journal Courier, January 17
In today’s Leading News, more districts place April referendums. Mattoon CUSD 2 hosts a FAFSA information program. An unused school building in Chicago is being considered for a temporary shelter for people seeking asylum. Also in the news, legislation prevents dress code requirements banning hairstyles historically associated with any race or ethnicity.

Aptakisic-Tripp District 102 to ask voters for an average of $468 a year for building upgrades
Steve Zalusky, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 15

Conflict and consensus lead to $100 million bond referendum for Edwardsville schools
Teri Maddox, Belleville News-Democrat, January 17

Mattoon High School to host FAFSA completion night for seniors
Chris Walker, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon,  January 16

Plans to repurpose the former James Wadsworth Elementary School in Woodlawn into a temporary shelter for asylum seekers has been met with controversy
Elvia Malag├│n, Chicago Sun-Times, January 12

As Illinois’ CROWN Act goes into effect, we catch up with Jett Hawkins, a boy who made legislative history with his hair
Darcel Rockett, Chicago Tribune, January 16
In today’s Leading News, school buses are targeted in catalytic converter thefts. Joliet PSD 86 seeks a referendum. Chicago’s mayor speaks about campaign recruiting emails sent to schools. Also in the news, Charleston students honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thieves steal catalytic converters from 17 school buses in Southern Illinois
Teri Maddox, Belleville News-Democrat/The Southern Illinoisan, January 16

Catalytic converter stolen off Illinois school bus, deputies offering reward for tip
Charity Blantib, WPSD, Paducah, Kentucky, January 6

District 86 school board in Joliet to place $99.5 million referendum question on the April ballot
Denise M. Baran-Unland, Joliet Herald News, January 16

Mayor Lightfoot says campaign recruitment emails to CPS teachers ‘should not have happened’ after watchdog launches investigation
Gregory Pratt and Sarah Macaraeg, Chicago Tribune, January 12

Charleston students work on class projects for MLK Jr. Day
Rob Stroud, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon,  January 16
In today’s Leading News, read local coverage of issues relating to the April election.

Unit 5 adds referendum to April ballot
Connor Wood, Bloomington Pantagraph, January 11

Mundelein High School will ask voters for $175 million
Mick Zawislak, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 12

Former DeKalb District 428 school board member seeking new term knocked from April election ballot
Megann Horstead, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, January 12

Peoria school board candidate hopes lawsuit will reinstate her on ballot
Andy Kravetz, Peoria Journal Star, January 10

Lightfoot campaign promises to stop soliciting CPS student volunteers after criticism
Nader Issa and Fran Spielman , Chicago Sun-Times, January11

In today’s Leading News, the governor’s second inaugural address emphasizes education. Champaign CUSD 4 continues to discuss school assignments. Sterling CUSD 5 adjusts its school calendar, dramatically. Another school district deals with facility damage that occurred over the winter break. Also in the news, schools consider procedures for cardiac emergencies.

From free college to universal preschool, Pritzker pledges second-term ‘agenda as ambitious and bold as our people are’
Tina Sfondeles, Chicago Sun-Times, January 9

Champaign school board set to vote on least-disruptive option for school assignment
Ethan Simmons, Champaign News-Gazette, January 10, 2023

Sterling schools OK change to 2023-24 calendar to host IHSA state drama finals
Troy E. Taylor, Sauk Valley News, January 7

Beecher High School deals with water damage to gyms over break
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal,  January 1

With Damar Hamlin's collapse in mind, high schools have emergency plans in place
Dave Oberhelman, Kevin Schmit, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs,  January 5

In today’s Leading News, read reporting on school board election ballot challenges.

Peoria school board member faces public scrutiny for signatures of dead people on petition
Leslie Renken, Peoria Journal Star, January 10

Two candidates in District 220 face ballot challenges
Steve Zalusky, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 5

One candidate removed from local school board ballot
Sean Lisitza, Sheridan Hurtig, Austin Schick, WMBD, Peoria, January 3

Electoral board throws out attempts to remove 2 Unit 5 school board candidates from the ballot
Eric Stock, WGLT, Normal, January 3

District 300 candidates survive petition objections
Alicia Fabbre, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 6
In today’s Leading News, boards react to last week’s proposal for a sex education mandate in Illinois. Urbana SD 116 regroups on dual-language plans. Also in the news, technology plusses and minuses make national headlines.  

Bill before Illinois Senate would make sex ed mandatory in public schools, but allow students to opt out
Aaron Dorman and Derek Barichello, Shaw Media, January 7

Mattoon board opposes bill to remove local sex education control
Rob Stroud, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, January 6

Urbana board: More info needed to find future of Spanish dual-language program
Ethan Simmons, Champaign News-Gazette, January 5

Rainbow PUSH to boost tech education
Michael Loria, Chicago Sun-Times, December 27

Seattle's schools are suing tech giants for harming young people's mental health
Associated Press/NPR, January 8
In today’s Leading News, CPS responds to investigation on reported attendance. Water damage extends Jacksonville SD 117 high school winter break. Also in the news: coronavirus concerns give way to recommended masking, outdoor preschools, and more changes in education.

Schools masking absenteeism by misreporting truant CPS students as transfers, dropouts, IG says.
Nader Issa and Sarah Karp, Chicago Sun-Times, January 5

Jacksonville High School closed until Friday due to building damage
Zach Roth, State Journal-Register, Springfield, January 4

Decatur Public Schools 'strongly encourages' the wearing of masks due to rising COVID numbers
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, January 5

As outdoor preschools gain traction after COVID-19 pandemic, states work to unlock funding
Leigh Giangreco, USA Today, January 4

School returned to ‘normal’ in 2022 — or did it?
Troy E. Taylor, Sauk Valley News, January 3
In today’s Leading News, Oakwood CUSD 76 reaches out to its community for substitute teachers. Arlington Heights SD 25 continues kindergarten growth. Monticello CUSD 25 facilities work begins. The Niles THSD 219 board approves an Assyrian language course. Also in the news, it’s a tutoring program and more in Pikeland CUSD 10.

Oakwood school district's 'plea to our community': Part-time help wanted
Dave Hinton, Champaign News-Gazette, January 4, 2023

Arlington Heights approval process set to begin for Dist. 25 kindergarten expansions
Christopher Placek, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 3

Work begins on Monticello outdoor facilities project
Kevin Barlow, Piatt County Journal-Republican, December 28

Niles Township High School District 219 approves Assyrian language course
Brian L. Cox, Pioneer Press/Skokie Review, December 27

Pikeland tutoring program offers students 'a sense of belonging'
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, December 31
In today’s Leading News, DeKalb CUSD 428 approves funds for renovations. Meridian CUSD 101 progresses on a new ag education facility. Paris High School copes with water damage caused by a leak. The Jacksonville SD 117 school board shares experiences from the Joint Annual Conference. Also in the news, another look at new Illinois laws.

DeKalb District 428 earmarks $322K in COVID-19 relief funds for education center renovations
Megann Horstead, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, December 30

Meridian district's ag education building right on schedule
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, December 27

Flooding caused by leak results in 'significant damage' to high school
Champaign News-Gazette, December 27

District 117 Members Talk About Issues Facing School Boards in the State
Benjamin Cox, WLDS, Jacksonville, December 29

33 New Laws Taking Effect in Illinois in 2023 You Should Know About
NBC 5, Chicago, December 31
In today’s Leading News, education items for the new year. 

Students are behind in math and reading. Are schools doing enough?
Donna St. George, Washington Post, December 20

Wealth of new laws await new year in Illinois
Peter Hancock. CNI/Jacksonville Journal Courier, December 16

Illinois wins $253.7 million in federal funding to boost internet access in underserved areas
Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times, December 20

Are Illinois schools teaching reading all wrong? What parents need to know.
Cassie Walker Burke, WBEZ, Chicago, December 20

How to Reset School District Priorities After a Long First Semester
Caitlynn Peetz, Education Week, December 20

Leading News

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