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Leading News 2024

In today’s Leading News, The State Journal-Register looks at Governor Pritzker’s pension reform proposal. A new report compares “Invest in Kids” outcomes to those of public schools. Learn about the team that supports school communities in times of crisis. Aurora high schoolers aim for involvement in a voter registration drive. Also in the news, CPS students envision what they’d like to see at the end of the (new CTA Red) line.

Pritzker introduces pension reform plan that could save taxpayers billions. Will it work?
Patrick M. Keck, Springfield State Journal-Register, February 28

Public school students outperformed tax credit scholarship recipients at private schools, report says
Sarah Macaraeg, Chicago Tribune, February 28

Crisis Flight Team answers when schools need support
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, February 9

Aurora high schoolers hold candidate fair and voter registration drive
Peter Medlin, Northern Public Radio, February 26

South Side middle-schoolers’ CTA Red Line extension dreams: public art, a park, grocery, tech store, chance to ‘bring families together’
Sarah Karp, WBEZ, Chicago, February 12
 
In today’s Leading News, read media coverage of board decisions on school calendars in Orion CUSD 223, transportation expenditures in Mahomet-Seymour CUSD 3, bullying in North Shore SD 112, and a referendum in  Whiteside SD 115 in Belleville. Also in the news, the Bears and the suburbs are still talking.

Orion residents concerned about school district's option to potentially waive holidays
Lisa Hammer, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, February 21

A $108,255 answer to Mahomet-Seymour's activity transportation woes
Jeff D'Alessio, Champaign News-Gazette, February 23

Highland Park parents voice frustrations with D112 racial bullying: ‘Jim Crow behavior is a reality in our district’
Chloe Hilles, Chicago Tribune, February 14

Belleville school district asking voters to fund $10.6 million building addition
Kelly Smits, Belleville News-Democrat, February 8

‘No pressure being exerted’: Arlington Heights mayor denies taking sides in Bears vs. schools tax battle
Christopher Placek, Daily Herald, February 21
 
In today’s Leading News, Elgin-based School District U-46 assists students aspiring to college. Decatur SD 61 continues its Parent University offerings. CPS decides to remove police from schools and looks to a new cleaning services provider. Quincy SD 172 starts with test scores. Also in the news, Aviston SD 21 again seeks a tax rate increase.

From Elgin to historically Black colleges: U-46 seeks to cultivate college dreams
James Fuller, Daily Herald, February 26

Parent University offers families information and resources
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, February 23

Chicago Board of Education votes to remove police from schools
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, February 22

Test scores a 'starting point' to look at instruction in QPS
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, February 22

Metro-east school district making fourth appeal to voters for tax rate increase
Kelly Smits, Belleville News-Democrat, February 21
 
In today’s Leading News, Manhattan SD 114 staff responds to its new policy on bulletin boards. THSD 214 looks at TIF funds for culinary facilities in Elk Grove. The Springfield SD 186 board raises a conversation about racism. Jacksonville SD 117 reviews discipline data. Also in the news, McLean Co Unit District 5 works on its strategic plan.

Manhattan District 114 teachers took down bulletin boards in solidarity, union says
Alexandra Kukulka, Daily Southtown, February 23

How Elk Grove is using TIF money for new high school culinary lab
Christopher Placek, Daily Herald, February 15

Board members allege racism in Springfield school district after principal is reassigned
Steven Spearie, Springfield State Journal- Register, February 22

JSD 117 Administrators Present Breakdown of Discipline After Concerns Raised from IL Report Card
Benjamin Cox WLDS, Jacksonville, February 23

McLean County Unit 5 previews draft of strategic plan
Mateusz Janik, Bloomington Pantagraph, February 21
 
In today’s Leading News, read more takes on the Governor’s budget address. Also in the news, school districts discuss the roles of law enforcement and school resource officers.

Illinois governor's proposed $53B budget includes funds for migrants, quantum computing and schools
Sophia Tareen, AP/Quincy Herald Whig, February 21

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s budget includes almost $900 million in tax hikes — but a break on groceries
Dan Petrella, Jeremy Gorner, and Olivia Olande, Chicago Tribune, February 21

Pritzker’s budget proposal calls for child tax credit, elimination of grocery tax
Patrick M. Keck, Springfield State Journal-Register, February 21

Board of Education moves to pull school police officers
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, February 20

BBCHS to allow retired police working security to carry gun
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal, February 16
 
In today’s Leading News, read the reporting on Governor JB Pritzker’s budget address. Also in the news, a Decatur SD 61 program guides students through life and leadership skills.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s 2025 budget plan continues to boost early childhood education in Illinois
Samantha Smylie, Chalkbeat Chicago, February 21

Pritzker unveils $52.7B budget proposal, says Biden needs to 'step up' on migrants
Brenden Moore, Bloomington Pantagraph, February 22

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s ‘more austere’ $52.7 billion budget plan turns to big business, sportsbooks for tax increases
Tina Sfondeles and Mitchell Armentrout, Chicago Sun-Times, February 21

Pritzker proposes $1.8B in spending growth, backed by tax increases for corporations, sportsbooks
Jerry Nowicki, CNI/The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, February 22

American Dreamer students practice soft skills in 'Amazing Shake' event
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, February 8
 
In today’s Leading News, school communities discuss getting displaced students back into school buildings in Grayslake Comm Cons SD 46 and Venice CUSD 3. The Geneseo CUSD 228 board hears about the district’s vocational education and independent living program for students with disabilities. Union Ridge SD 86 discussed its referendum on the March ballot.  Also in the news, read more coverage of CPS’s post-pandemic gains.

Grayslake Middle School students making do as damage forces them from building; ‘Our students, staff, families and community have truly come together’
Chloe Hilles, Chicago Tribune, February 16

Venice breaks ground on new elementary school as part of larger revitalization plan
Kelly Smits, Belleville News-Democrat, February 18

Geneseo school board hears about district's vocational program for disabled students
Lisa Hammer, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, February 10

Union Ridge School District going to referendum in Norridge
Phil Rockrohr, Norridge Herald, February 20

CPS students’ reading gains rank among top 3 large districts in the nation, study finds
Sophie Sherry and Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, February 18
 
In today’s Leading News, anticipating Governor Pritzker’s budget address, to be delivered Wednesday. Also in the news, from Chalkbeat, a new report spotlights CPS’s pandemic-related recovery.

Pritzker to consider tightening state finances in budget address Wednesday
Jerry Nowicki, CNI/WSIU, Carbondale, February 20

Gov. J.B. Pritzker confronts migrant crisis, projected shortfall as he prepares for his sixth budget address
Jeremy Gorner and Olivia Olander, Chicago Tribune, February 20

4 things to watch for in Pritzker's budget address
Patrick M. Keck, Springfield State Journal- Register, February 16

More funding for migrants, education to highlight Pritzker budget proposal
Brenden Moore, Bloomington Pantagraph, February 18

Chicago Public Schools recover from pandemic declines more than other districts, study shows
Becky Vevea, Chalkbeat Chicago, February 19
 
In today’s Leading News, conversations continue on taxes and the Bears. The Tribune reports on tax credit scholarships. Geneva CUSD 304 seeks enrollment projections. Collinsville CUSD 10 seeks a referendum. Also in the news, a Warrensburg-Latham CUSD 11 project sends hearts flying around the world.

‘A convenient argument’: Superintendents say they’re not to blame if Bears stay downtown
Christopher Placek, Daily Herald, February 12

With tax credit scholarships expiring soon, schools and parents scramble to fund students’ tuition
Alysa Guffey, Chicago Tribune, February 8

Geneva District 304 hires demographer to address enrollment projections
Brenda Schory, Kane County Chronicle, February 13

Collinsville District 10 has long-term plan to maintain schools, but needs voters’ OK
Kelly Smits, Belleville News-Democrat, February 1

W-L students' call for Valentines receives global response
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, February 14

 
In today’s Leading News, Elgin-based School District U-46 and Carbondale SD 95 reach contract agreements with teachers. St. Charles CUSD 303 decides on school enrollment boundary changes. Signs of the times will appear near Streator schools. Also in the news, students and families show support for Champaign CUSD 4 staff.

Carbondale District 95 and union reach agreement to avoid strike
Brian Wilson, WSIL, Carterville, February 9

Elgin U-46 approves four-year teacher contract
Alicia Fabbre, Daily Herald, February 6

St. Charles School District 303 approves new enrollment zone boundaries
David Petesch, Kane County Chronicle, February 13

Streator to buy 2 electronic radar signs for high school crossing, splitting cost with high school board
Derek Barichello, Shaw Media, Illinois Valley, February 9

Unit 4 officials get an earful from 'much love, B-T-Dub' ralliers
Luke Taylor, Champaign News-Gazette, February 13
 
In today’s Leading News, read about topics of national education interest, and their local applications in Illnois school districts.

K-12 students learned a lot last year, but they're still missing too much school
Cory Turner, Sequoia Carrillo, NPR Illinois, February 9

How the U-46 school district is trying to help a growing number of newcomer migrant students
Peter Medlin, Northern Public Radio, February 9

High school students walk out at Sandburg, Stagg and Reavis to support cease-fire in Gaza
Hank Sanders, Daily Southtown, and Alysa Guffey,  Chicago Tribune, February 11

Terroristic threat on TikTok leads to arrest of Calhoun teen, authorities say
David C.L. Bauer, Jacksonville Journal Courier, February 10

New program aims to divert local juveniles from being incarcerated
Samuel Lisec, Champaign News-Gazette, February 7
 
In today’s Leading News, Illinois school districts hear from experts on school safety and security issues, cope with crises, and contemplate future measures.

'It's not in its final form, ever': How Quad-Cities schools plan for crises like active shooters
Olivia Allen and Analisa Trofimuk, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus- February 11

Madison County School Safety Summit emphasizes online issues
Scott Cousins, Alton Telegraph, February 4

Decatur schools superintendent addresses concerns of families, staff
Donnette Beckett, Decatur Herald and Review, February 10

Dunlap bus driver being hailed as a 'hero' for calming, aiding students during crash
Leslie Renken, Peoria Journal Star, February 9

Plan to end mandated hiring of police as school security guards awaits CPS approval, union says
Sarah Macaraeg, Chicago Tribune, February 6
 
In today’s Leading News, looking at what’s next for literacy in Illinois.

The Illinois State Board of Education finalized a literacy plan. What’s next?
Samantha Smylie, Chalkbeat Chicago, February 7

New state literacy plan offers districts a framework — and flexibility
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, February 7

District 87 is launching new curriculum to serve more English language learners
Michele Steinbacher, WGLT, Normal, February 5

School District 204 board approves new elementary English resource
R. Christian Smith, Aurora Beacon-News, February 6

New Lincoln Library book vending machine provides 'food for the brain and the soul'
Steven Spearie, Springfield State Journal- Register, February 8
 
In today’s Leading News, teachers strike at a CPS charter school. A booster organization’s finances become a law enforcement investigation. A career fair opens opportunities for Quincy SD 172 students. Also in the news, a jury in Michigan has found the mother of a school shooter guilty of involuntary manslaughter, and after a tip, Peoria officials stop a school shooting plot.

CTU launches strike at two charter schools, demanding increased special education staff and protections for immigrant students and employees
Sarah Macaraeg, Chicago Tribune, February 6

Woman’s theft scheme allegedly lasted through her 6-year role as Music Boosters Club treasurer: records
Kelsey Rettke, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, February 1

Career fair helps students 'grow my horizons' for the future
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, January 27

Mother of Michigan Gunman Found Guilty of Manslaughter
Jacey Fortin, New York Times, February 6

Peoria police thwart school shooting; teen could be charged as an adult
Peoria Journal Star, February 5
 
In today’s Leading News, climate resiliency is on the minds of students. Chicago’s mayor speaks on the CPS school board election process. In Champaign CUSD 4, the buses are missing the students. Also in the news, the IHSA considers basketball sites and promotes girls wrestling.

Students, teachers and activists rally for investment in green schools and climate resiliency
Kate Armanini, Chicago Tribune, February 4

Johnson tells state lawmakers he wants 10 school board members elected this year — not all 21
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, February 2

Driver shortage causing frequent school-bus delays, cancellations in Champaign
Luke Taylor, Champaign News-Gazette, January 31

The IHSA basketball state finals host contracts are expiring. Here's what could be next
Adam Duvall, Peoria Journal Star, February 1

Illinois Girls get wrestling regional of their own at Mount Zion
Decatur Herald and Review, January 27
 
In today’s Leading News, school districts and communities respond to issues of student safety and security.

3 issues that may threaten student safety, according to metro-east educators and law enforcement
Kelly Smits, Belleville News-Democrat, February 1

Oswego 308 District responds to federal grooming and abuse lawsuit
WSPY, Plano, February 2

Shootings of Chicago students prompts push for anti-violence workers in high schools
Sarah Karp, WBEZ/Chicago Sun-Times, February 2

Despite tragic crash, Kaneland intersection to remain unchanged
James Fuller, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 18

Illinois lawmakers could allow school safety officers to deter crime, support students
Mike Miletich, WAND, Decatur, February 2
 
In today’s Leading News, students seek to have their voices heard.

Forum serves as call to action to address fighting in Decatur schools
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, February 1

Students walk out at several CPS schools to demand City Council support cease-fire in Gaza
Sarah Macaraeg, Zareen Syed, Kate Armanini, and Jake Sheridan, Chicago Tribune, January 30

Lockport high school senior organizes student voter registration drive
Jessie Molloy, Joliet Herald-News, January 30

"Glad to get back into rhythm": Quad-Cities students, school district leaders reflect on weather disruptions
Olivia Allen, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, January 28

Waukegan school board members show off student-created hoodies; ‘I was almost in tears’
Steve Sadin, Lake County News-Sun, January 26
 
In today’s Leading News, suburban school districts reinstate student fees. Urbana SD 61 reviews its French Language offerings. The tax value of Arlington Park, potentially home to the Chicago Bears, is of debate. Johnsburg CHSD 12 plan a “smooth transition” with the current and next superintendent working together for a year. Also in the news, with a national political twist, Black History Month begins for the education community.

Waived during the pandemic, student fees reinstated in districts 211 and 214
Christopher Placek, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 29

Urbana consolidating but not dissolving French dual-language program
Samuel Lisec, Champaign News-Gazette, January 28

Chicago Bears and schools are $100M apart on tax value of former Arlington Park, complicating stadium proposal
Robert McCoppin, Chicago Tribune, January 30

With Johnsburg District 12 superintendent to retire next year, deputy hired to replace him
Northwest Herald, January 26

Educators wrestle with new limits on teaching Black history
Russell Contraras, Axios, February 1
 

Leading News

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