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Leading News 2021

In today’s Leading News, a Kinnikinnick CCSD 131 facility was used as an evacuation center after a chemical plant explosion in Rockton. Also in the news, read about other school health, safety, and acility updates in Illinois districts.
 
Massive chemical fire at Chemtool in Rockton could burn for days
Chris Green, Rockford Register Star, June 14
 
District 87's Food Services Staff Gets Shoutout For Their Pandemic Pivot
Michele Steinbacher, WGLT, Normal, May 27
 
Alton getting $1.3M for Safer Routes to School
Dylan Suttles, Alton Telegraph, June 10
 
Galesburg High School power delay pushes start date discussion for D205
June Carlson, Galesburg Register-Mail, June 10
 
School Board clears way for junior high elevator repairs
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, June 11
 
In today’s Leading News, there is renewed conversation about standardized testing in Illinois. Also in the news, Critical Race Theory appears to be the next “major cultural battle.”
 
Ill. Teacher Unions, Education Advocacy Groups Urge State To Not Add More Standardized Tests
Derek Cantù, NPR Illinois, Springfield, June 11
 
More standardized tests in Illinois schools? Vote delayed as educators raise alarms: ‘Our students and teachers are exhausted’
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, June 10
 
The Brewing Political Battle Over Critical Race Theory
Barbara Sprint, Morning Edition, NPR, June 2
 
Tensions Run High During Public Comments At District 87 Board Meeting
Samira Kassem, WGLT, Bloomington, June 9
 
Teachers Wary of New Laws Limiting Instruction on Race
Associated Press/Alton Telegraph, June 12
 
In today’s Leading News, it’s re-opening day in Illinois.
 
Ready or not, Illinois is reopening on Friday
Jake Griffin, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, June 10
 
State issues guidelines for June 11 re-opening
Ron DeBrock, Alton Telegraph, June 4
 
Illinois face mask rules: Where masks are still required in IL
ABC7 Chicago, June 10
 
Coles County businesses, teams welcome return of state track meet, easing of COVID restrictions
Rob Stroud, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, June 10
 
Family trip to state: 3 sisters, cousin make up Henry-Midland state-qualifying relay
Kevin Chlum, LaSalle News-Tribune, June 9
 
In today’s Leading News, school districts keep up with coronavirus with testing, relief funds, Advance Placement adjustments and accommodations, summer meals, and vaccinations.
 
Illinois Department of Public Health expands COVID-19 testing to elementary schools
Shaw Local, Northern Illinois, June 9
 
A piece of an $8 billion pie: Groups that run kids’ after-school programs don’t want to be left out of districts’ COVID-19 relief windfall
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, June 1
 
AP tests in area high schools are a mix of paper and digital tests in school and at home
Kimberly Fornek, Pioneer Press, The Doings, LaGrange, May 25
 
Carthage school district plans summer meals program
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, May 26
 
Schools try pep-rally tactics to get students vaccinated
Associated Press/Chicago Sun-Times, May 25
 
In today’s Leading News, teachers in Chicago’s Urban Prep Academies are on strike. The annual convention of the FFA is taking place across the state. Proposed changes to the math curriculum raise questions in Hinsdale HSD 86. Liberty CUSD 2 wins a journalism grant.  Also in the news. Coal City CUSD 1 adds ASL to the curriculum.
 
Urban Prep teachers on strike over pay, lack of special education resources
Stefano Esposito, Chicago Sun-Times, June 7
 
'Celebrating our members' — Agriculture students gather for FFA convention at SIU
Les O’Dell, Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, June 7
 
A Clash Over Math Plan In Hinsdale D-86
David Giuliani, Hinsdale Patch, Jun 3
 
Liberty High, other Illinois schools, receive grants for journalism
Herald-Whig, Quincy, June 4
 
Coal City School Board Adds American Sign Language to Foreign Language Program
WSPY, Plano, June 5
 
In today’s Leading News, read analysis of the bill promoting an elected school board for Chicago Public Schools. Springfield SD 186 builds for accessibility in a classic school building, while Moline/Coal Valley SD 40 looks at long-range facilities needs. Decatur SD 61 aims for improved transparency. Also in the news, Bourbonnais addresses scheduling.
 
Elected CPS board ‘supposed to be about democracy,’ but that’s ‘not what happened’ in Springfield, Lightfoot says
Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, June 2
 
Rising to the top: Accessibility to be addressed at Dubois, district's oldest building
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, June 1
 
Committee: ‘Phase out’ four schools in Moline-Coal Valley district
Nicole Lauer, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, May 24
 
Decatur school board vows more transparency
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, May 26
 
Bourbonnais schools working out scheduling issues
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal, May 26
 
In today’s Leading News, heading toward the state’s “full reopening,” school districts manage summer work, vaccination programs, and plans for the fall.
 
Pritzker Issues Guidelines Ahead of Full Reopening
Kristen Thometz, WTTW, Chicago, June 4
 
Summer school? Parents and teachers are just saying no, despite COVID-19 learning loss and federal relief funds to pay for it.
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, June 7
 
As the year wraps up, schools in southwest IL are helping students get vaccinated
Megan Valley, Belleville News-Democrat, May 31
 
U-46 to set up online learning ‘academy’ for students who are not vaccinated and have medical conditions
Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, May 25
 
Reopening Rockford: Education adjusts to new normal but questions remain about fall
Richard Bodee, WREX, Rockford, May 24
 
In Friday’s Leading News, read a reflection on the past year of change in social and racial justice. Southern-tier school districts address the teacher shortage. Residents in Byron strive to prevent the closure of a nuclear power plant. COVID-19 positive cases are dropping statewide. Also in the news, discover “ambiguous Ps” and why some students aren’t in favor.
 
How Education Has Changed in Illinois Since 2020 Racial Justice Protests
Peter Medlin, Northern Public Radio, June 2
 
Can rural southern IL school districts find help within to solve teacher shortages?
Megan Valley, Belleville News-Democrat, May 29
 
Byron residents in last ditch effort to save nuclear plant from closure
Dylan Srocki, Alexis Carpello, WTVO, Rockford, May 27
 
New cases of coronavirus dropping as state nears June 11
Erich Murphy, Pontiac Daily Leader, June 1
 
COVID-19 led some schools to drop letter grades. One suburban student is on a quest to get his back.
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, May 28
 
 
In today’s Leading News, read additional reporting of education-impacting legislation from the Illinois General Assembly spring session.
 
Illinois Lawmakers Boost School Spending, Guarantee Recess And Mandate Sex Ed
Susie An, WBEZ Chicago, June 2
 
Bill creating 21-member elected Chicago school board passes state Senate
Rachel Hinton and Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, June 1
 
Illinois budget heads to Pritzker’s desk with a boost for K-12, flat funding for early ed
Samantha Smylie, Chalkbeat Chicago, June 1
 
State Senate sends 'sexting' measure to governor
Jerry Nowicki, CNI/Kankakee Daily Journal, May 28
 
Illinois tackles anti-Asian hate with the TEAACH Act
Rita Oceguera, Injustice Watch/Decatur Herald-Review, May 31
 
In today’s Leading News, read a collection of the news stories on the education-impacting legislative action over the weekend.
 
Illinois legislators vote to dramatically limit use of seclusion and facedown restraints in schools
Jennifer Smith Richards and Jodi S. Cohen, Chicago Tribune, May 31
 
Illinois lawmakers move primary date, expand voting access
Ben Szalinski, State Journal-Register, Springfield, June 1
 
FOID card fingerprinting bill passes — but stalls — as grammar school play time measure advances
Rachel Hinton and Andrew Sullender, Chicago Sun-Times, May 29
 
Illinois Legislature’s $42 billion budget heads to Pritzker
AP/Belleville News Democrat, June 1
 
Two new state holidays approved: Juneteenth and Election Day. What do they mean for you?
Jake Griffin, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, June 1

 
In today’s Leading News, the state legislature moves into extra innings. Also in the news, read about facilities changes in school districts throughout the state, and re-upping a conversation about open windows.
 
Illinois lawmakers go into overtime, approve $42 billion budget, elections changes and an ethics package
Rick Pearson, Dan Petrella, Bill Ruthhart, Chicago Tribune, June 1
 
Superintendent addresses school facilities discussion
Jennifer Bailey, Danville Commercial-News, May 27
 
Ottawa Elementary board begins process to get air conditioning for schools
Michael Urbanec, Ottawa Times, May 27
 
CPS proposes giving Aramark, Sodexo another 3 months, $74M for facilities management
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, May 24
 
Shiloh students present rain garden plan to board
Samantha Tucker, Prairie Press, Paris, May 24
 
Why Opening Windows Is a Key to Reopening Schools
Rick Bartzokas, Mika Gröndahl, Karthik Patanjali, Miles Peyton, Bedel Saget and Umi Syam, New York Times, February 26
 

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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.