June 2023 Leading News

In today's Leading News, a time capsule is opened in Decatur, 50 schools in Quincy will launch a pilot math and reading program in the coming school year, and Bloomington District 87 awaits a bill that would allow the purchase of a building without a referendum. Also in the news, a summer program in Chicago offers hands-on environmental and climate justice education.

School building time capsule offers glimpse of 1930 Maroa
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, June 3

QPS moving forward with math, language arts pilot in 23-24 year
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, June 15

District 87 awaits new law, building to address 'preschool desert'
Kelsey Watznauer, Bloomington Pantagraph, June 21

New summer program for students tours Chicago pollution hotspots
Indira Khera, WBEZ/Chicago Sun-Times, June 23
In today's Leading News, IHSA creates a new commitee to discuss competitive issues. Parents in McLean County continue calls for more transparency over student and staff safety. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson deferred a decision to elected school officials, who are responsible for voting on whether to keep officers. Also in the news, a Naperville teen helps craft bills targeting fentenayl and drug overdose prevention, and a woman using an Indian-Prairie-issued credit card is charged with using the card to purchase personal items.

Level field: Public, private schools form new IHSA committee to discuss competitive issues
Dave Eminian, Galesburg Register-Mail, June 27

Colene Hoose parents continue calls for transparency
Mateusz Janik, Bloomington Pantagraph, June 23

Mayor Johnson passes on trying to pull cops from schools
Sarah Karp, Chicago Sun-Times/WBEZ, June 21

Naperville high school student confronted loss by working for state legislation on fentanyl education
Hank Sanders, Chicago Tribune, June 20

Naperville woman charged with using Indian Prairie-issued credit card to buy personal items, officials say
Naperville Sun, June 14

In today's Leading News, several schools in Illinois are undergoing renovations and upgrades to improve their facilities and energy efficiency. Also in the news, The Decatur Public Schools Board discusses acquiring temporary housing for displaced Dennis Lab School students.

Committee looks at HVAC options for QHS
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, June 22

Unit 5 board OKs solar panels plan, fittingly on summer solstice
Michele Steinbacher, WGLT, Normal, June 22

Some Dunlap schools need repairs and renovations. Here's the plan for this summer
Leslie Renken, Peoria Journal Star, June 26

Decatur school board to consider more modular classrooms for Dennis students
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, June 26 

In today’s Leading News, read about school meals past, present, and future. Also in the news, the board for Paris Union SD 95 meets after release of an ISBE report on misuse of grant funds.

Let's Ketchup donates $7K toward canceling lunch debt
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal, June 26

School districts in west suburban Oak Park, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park addressing potential summer break hunger, offering breakfast and lunch
Elizabeth Owens-Schiele, Pioneer Press/Oak Leaves, June 26

St. Charles school board approves menu price hikes in all cafeterias
David Petesch, Shaw Local/Kane County Chronicle, June 13

New bill could put whole milk back in school cafeterias
Hannah Brandt, WMBD, Peoria, June 11

District 95 names Bailey interim superintendent, secures extension for corrective plan
Robby Tucker, Prairie Press, Paris, June 26
In today’s Leading News, a court ruling keeps Chicago’s Urban Prep open as lawsuits continue over its future. A facility for at-risk youth seeks to send students to Orion CUSD 223 schools. Waterloo CUSD 5 continues a conversation over its gender policy. Also in the news, a look at Illinois efforts towards literacy, with a helping hand for the preschool set.

Chicago’s all-boys charter school can stay open as lawsuit fighting its closure continues, appellate court rules
Sarah Karp, WBEZ, Chicago, June 23

Arrowhead Ranch seeks to send youth to Orion schools
Lisa Hammer, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, June 24

Waterloo School District again responds to gender policy concerns
Andrew Unverferth, Waterloo Republic-Times, June 23

Illinois education leaders discuss first draft of statewide comprehensive literacy plan
Mike Miletich, WAND, Decatur, June 22

Dolly Parton sending free books to all Illinois kids 5 and under
Mack Liederman, Chalkbeat/Block Club Chicago, June 14
In today’s Leading News, school districts make decisions about SROs and body cameras. Central SD 104 in O’Fallon names an elementary school after Dawn Elser, who is retiring as superintendent.  The Paris Union SD 95 superintendent is placed on leave. Also in the news, Fresh Air speaks about teaching in the “culture wars” and Illinois offers grants towards alleviating the teacher shortage locally.

Police, high schools setting rules for officer bodycams on campus
Eric Peterson, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, June 14

O’Fallon school board honors superintendent by renaming elementary building after her
Lynn Venhaus, O’Fallon Progress, June 16

Paris 95 places Larson on leave
Robby Tucker, Prairie Press, Paris, June 22

Facing book bans and restrictions on lessons, teachers are scared and self-censoring
Dave Davies, Fresh Air, NPR, June 22

$45 million from Illinois State Board of Education to help with teacher shortage
Amanda Brennan, WCIA, Champaign, June 20
In today’s Leading News, school boards hold budget conversations.

Geneva D-304 approves capital project bid of nearly $716K
Brenda Schory, Kane County Chronicle, June 14

State funding boast can help Dieterich Unit 30 school district
Herb Meeker, Hometown Register, Dieterich, June 1

Elementary board: End-of-fiscal-year actions made
Jeff Helfrich, Rochelle News-Leader, June 15

With costs rising, District 15 considers borrowing more for improvement plan
Steve Zalusky, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, June 16

Meredosia band director wants to replace decades-old uniforms
Shirley Bilyeu, Jacksonville Journal Courier, June 17
In today’s Leading News, school districts and stakeholders hold conversations on equity, representation, and community.

CPS help was short-lived for Chicago schools that absorbed students from schools closed in 2013v
Sarah Karp, Nader Issa, Lauren FitzPatrick, Alden Loury, Chicago Sun-Times, Mag 31

Urbana schools equity audit finds identity-based bullying rampant
Emily Hays, Illinois Newsroom, June 21

Machesney Park’s Harlem decides against ‘Flag Policy’
Taylor Castro, WTVO, Rockford, June 20

Springfield School District 186 approves Equity Plan, strategy program
Caroleina Hassett, WICS, Springfield, June 20

Some rural communities in Illinois are pushing back against the narrative that they’re dying
Hank Sanders, Chicago Tribune, May 30
In today Leading News, Oswego CUSD 308 assesses a proposed development. Decatur SD 61 reports on findings at its Dennis School facilities. A new Joliet facility will manufacture electric school buses.  Also in the news, Juneteenth in Illinois.

Oswego SD308 to see substantial increase in tax revenue from proposed Montgomery development
Eric Schelkopf, Kendall County Now, June 13

Dennis School campuses closed for coming school year, next steps under review
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, June 14

Lion Electric’s new school bus factory in Joliet aims to rewrite the rules for manufacturing in Illinois
John Lippert, Chicago Tribune, June 11

Juneteenth is a holiday for people of all races, metro-east civil rights leaders say
Carolyn P. Smith, Belleville News-Democrat, June 18

Aurora Juneteenth flag ceremony focuses on youth
Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, June 19

In today’s Leading News, school districts work with students experiencing homelessness. Questions begin to be answered on the state’s new law on the books. CPS eyes additional funding for special education. CHSD 230’s Stagg High School in Palos Hills gets an expansion. Also in the news, Decatur SD 61 remembers the late Brian A. Braun.

How can a school district help thousands of students experiencing homelessness?
Peter Medlin, Northern Public Radio, DeKalb, June 14

The fine print of Illinois' ban on book bans
Alex Degman, WSIU, Carbondale, June 14

CPS boosts school budgets with focus on special education — and more property taxes
Nader Issa and Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Tumes, June 13

Stagg breaks ground on $15M school expansion
Dermot Connolly, The Reporter, Palos Hills, June 9

School board honors the late Brian Braun, district counsel
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, June 14
In today’s Leading News, school districts make transportation plans. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson matches CPS teacher parental leave to that offerd to city employees. Also in the news, the newly-signed Illinois law withholds funding from libraries from banning books receives local and national attention.

KSD 111 changes fuel vendors for buses; drivers soughtv
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal, June 6

Leyden School District 212 could be among first in state to install school bus safety devices following passage of bill in Springfield
Pioneer Press/Franklin Park, June 6

Johnson extends 12 weeks of parental leave to Chicago Public Schools
Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, June 8

Cut off funding to those who ban books? Local librarians weigh in
Jeff D'Alessio, Champaign News-Gazette, June 12

Illinois becomes the first state in the U.S. to ban book bans
Alex Degman, WBEZ, Chicago, June 12

In today’s Leading News, check out these Illinois takes on big-picture topics in education.

Illinois enacts anti-book ban legislation
Peter Hancock, CNI/Decatur Herald and Review, June 12

School choice or a drain on public education? Backers aim to save controversial private school tax credit left out of new Illinois budget
Sarah Macaraeg, Rick Pearson and Hank Sanders, Chicago Tribune, June 11

First religious charter school approved in Oklahoma despite state ban
Cara Fitzpatrick and Matt Barnum, Chalkbeat, June 5

What to know about affirmative action ahead of Supreme Court ruling
Lisa Philip, WBEZ/Chicago Sun-Times, June 12

Juneteenth events celebrate freedom
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, June 12

In today’s Leading News, read reporting on findings related to CPS’s use of physical restraints. Glenbrook High School District 225 approves emergency funds for fire damage. DeKalb CUSD 428 checks in on facilities planning and budgeting. Also in the news, Mendota THSD 280 adds vape sensors.

CPS’ physical restraint of students: New details emerge of district’s alleged violation of state law over practice
Sarah Macaraeg, Chicago Tribune, June 6

Chicago Public Schools’ Special Education Chief Steps Down Amid Calls For Her Ouster
Matt Masterson, WTTW, Chicago, June 9

District 225 board approves spending to address fire damage at Glenbrook South
Dave Oberhelman, Daily Herald. Chicago suburbs, June 7

DeKalb School District 428 board questioned about new elementary school budget, design
Megann Horstead, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, May 22

MHS to install smoke & vape sensors
Mendota Reporter, May 23

In today’s Leading News, Quincy SD 172 students take a look at careers. New Trier THSD 203 and its teachers have a greed to a five-year contract. Georgetown-Ridge Farm CUSD 4 finds a way to make up for lost Project Success funds. Oswego CUSD 308 considers the length of the school day. Also in the news, the AP looks at school climate in a political climate.

Hands-on activities introduce students to career options
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, June 6

New Trier teachers, school board agree to 5 year contracts with 4.3% base salary raise
Daniel I. Dorfman, Pioneer Press/Winnetka Talk

Project Success Programs Saved in Georgetown – Ridge Farm District for 2023-34
Steve Brandy, WDAN, Danville, June 8

Oswego SD308 elementary, junior high students could see slightly shorter school day starting this fall
Eric Schelkopf, Kendall County Now, June 8

As conservatives target schools across US, LGBTQ+ kids and students of color feel less safe
Annie Ma, Claudia Lauer, and Adriana Gomez Licon, AP/The Southern Illinoisan, June 7

In today’s Leading News, Governor Pritzker talks education funding and signs the budget. Also in the news, tracking the Bears, a possible bear, and a definite bear.

Pritzker touts commitment to education during Freeport visit
The Journal-Standard, Freeport, June 7

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs $50.4 billion state budget but vetoes legislators’ pay hike that exceeded state limit
Dan Petrella and Jeremy Gorner, Chicago Tribune, June 7

Soldier Field back on the table? Chicago Bears meet with Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson
Sean Hammond, Shaw Local Media, June 7

A bear in the suburbs? Police investigate sighting near Gurnee Mills mall
Christopher Placek, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, June 7

Black bear sighting reported in rural southern Illinois. Authorities say it is legit
Belleville News-Democrat, June 6

In today’s Leading News, school districts can expect questions about local government shared-services and fiscal-efficiency reports. Joliet PSD 86 responds to concerns about school lockdowns during a May law enforcement event. SROs keep moving with new cars in Johnson County. Kankakee SD 111 eyes enrollment increases. A graduate seeks to ensure expression of accomplishment or heritage at graduation.
State requiring some units of local government to study their own efficiency
Debra Pressey, Champaign News-Gazette, June 4

Joliet District 86 superintendent to review response to May 30 manhunt
Felix Sarver, Joliet Herald News, June 6

School resource officer program in Johnson County gets new wheels
Marilyn Halstead, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, June 7

KHS upward enrollment trend expected to continue
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal, June 2

South Elgin student deprived of wearing Hispanic honor sash at graduation wants to ensure it doesn’t happen again
Gloria Casas, Elgin Courier-News, June 4
In today’s Leading News, take a look at local news on facilities for schools and districts: expanding, inspecting, purchasing, financing, and keeping them safe.

Centralia High School moves forward with Annex Building expansion
Bruce Kropp, WJBD, Centralia, May 26

Dennis Lab School buildings to remain closed until further notice
Decatur Herald and Review, June 5

Purchase of building will help put D186 administration under one roof
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, June 6

Bill allowing District 87 to buy building without referendum heads to governor
Brenden Moore and D. Jack Alkire, Bloomington Pantagraph, May 23

Cooperation key to school safety
Scott Cousins, Alton Telegraph, June 6
In today’s Leading News, Galena USD 120 is at work on facility improvements. A new curriculum is a go at Park Ridge-Niles SD 64. Madison County debates PTELL. Also in the news, the Tribune looks at the graduation of students with COVID in their high school timelines, and The 74 tells of a unique program at Monmouth-Rossville CUSD 238 to improve student outcomes during and after the pandemic.

Galena school construction continues
Murphy Obershaw, Galena Gazette, May 30

District 64 approves math, social studies curricula: ‘We’re not going to the store to buy 94 cantaloupes’
Caroline Kubzansky, Pioneer Press/Niles Herald-Spectator, May 23

Madison County leaders cool to idea of property tax limit law
Scott Cousins, Edwardsville Intelligencer, June 1

‘Class of COVID’: For this year’s graduating seniors, the pandemic dominated and defined high school
Zareen Syed, Olivia Alexander and Alexandra Kukulka, Chicago Tribune, June 1

This Rural Illinois District Curbed Learning Loss With Help From a Burmese Church
Asher Lehrer-Small, The 74, June 5
In today’s Leading News, Batavia PSD 101 and its teachers reach a contract agreement. The timeline for the CPS elected school board map has been extended. More school districts are adding or switching to artificial turf fields. West40 ISC 2 plans to renovate the former Westchester St. Joseph campus for student services and wrap-around programs.  Also in the news, survey results offer insight into arming teachers.

Batavia teachers union, school board reach new contract agreement
Shaw Local/Kane County Chronicle, June 1

Illinois lawmakers push back deadline for drawing Chicago’s elected school board maps
Becky Vevea, Chalkbeat Chicago, May 26

More area schools seeing the value of playing on turf
Dave Hinton, Champaign News-Gazette, May 21

West 40 buys 30-acre St. Joseph High School campus
Amaris E. Rodriguez, Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, May 24

More than half of US teachers think being armed would make students less safe, report finds
Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, May 31
In today’s Leading News, opinions are strong and split on metal detectors in THSD 113 (Highland Park) schools. Springfield SD 186 offers students “peace rooms.” Some Peoria Public Schools students will have a different report card next year. State Superintendent Tony Sanders discusses preschool deserts. Also in the news, the property tax bill for Arlington Park was reduced to $7.8 million.

Factions split over metal detectors in Highland Park as intense District 113 board meeting draws protest, heavy police presence
Gavin Good, Lake County News-Sun, May 31

Three district 186 high schools open 'peace rooms' to address mental health
Tiffani Jackson, State Journal-Register, Springfield, May 21

No more A's and B's: Some Peoria schools will launch a new type of report card next year
Leslie Renken, Peoria Journal Star, May 24

Illinois State Superintendent Tony Sanders talks about the need to eliminate preschool 'deserts'
Peter Medlin, Northern Public Radio, DeKalb, May 29

Arlington Park track’s property tax bill cut by half
Jake Griffin, Daily Herald/Chicago Sun-Times, May 31

Leading News

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