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August 2019 Leading News

In today’s Leading News, Evergreen Park ESD 124's contract offer is rejected, Wauconda CUSD 118 reaches an agreement with its teachers, and Riley SD 18 awaits a teacher contract vote. Decatur reports EAVs increasing in TIF districts. The Daily Herald reports on a law that suspends a teacher’s license if charged with serious crime. Also in the news, early education gets a boost in the suburbs.

Teachers Union Rejects Latest Offer From D124
Tim Moran, Patch, Evergreen Park, August 28

Wauconda Unit District 118, teachers agree to 5-year deal
Mick Zawislak, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 25

Riley School District 18 Board could vote on new contracts Thursday
Katie Smith, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 29

EAV in the TIF district has nearly doubled, going from $5.8 million to $11.4 million.
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, August 27

School District Reimagines Education System To Start At Birth
Susie An, WBEZ, Chicago, August 28
 
In today’s Leading News, soon after teachers filed an "intent to strike," DeKalb CUSD 428 announces a tentative contract agreement. Crete-Monee CUSD 201U responds to lead contamination issues in the village of University Park. School districts face impacts of the pending closure of power plants. Thomasboro CCSD 130 copes with a budget deficit. Also in the news, CPS teachers are "one step closer to a possible strike."

'Tentative' teacher's union contract reached 
between DeKalb educators, school board
Kelsey Rettke, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, August 28

University Park schools shut off drinking fountains
amid village’s ongoing lead contamination issues
Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, August 26

Power plant closures could hit local tax revenue hard
Deb Robinson, Journal Star, Peoria, August 26

Tough decisions looming for Thomasboro school board
Christine Walsh, Rantoul Press, August 27

Chicago Teachers Union rejects new contract proposal ...
Hannah Leone  and John Byrne, Chicago Tribune, August 26
 
In today’s Leading News, a book dispenser at Woodland CCSD 50 combines the high drama of the drop-down vending machine with the joy of more opportunities to read.  Enrollment is up at Dieterich CUSD 30. The delay in disbursing Champaign County tax receipts causes school district consternation. Community Unit School District 300 (Algonquin) details its teachers’ contract. Also in the news, a new state law requires notification of parents or guardians when a student is questioned at school by law enforcement.

Book vending machine unveiled in Woodland 50
Doug T. Graham, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 22

Dieterich School Board Hears About Increase in Enrollment
Greg Sapp, WXEF, Effingham, August 21

Superintendents tell county board how late taxes, lack of communication put districts in bind
Debra Pressy, News-Gazette, Champaign, August 16

New District 300 teacher contract includes 4% raises, on average
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 21

Prompted by Naperville teen’s suicide,
new law requires parents be present
before police question students on school property
Stacy St. Clair, Chicago Tribune, August 23
 
In today’s Leading News, Iowa’s new school bus seat belt law prompts discussion in border communities. CPS reports a decrease the numbers of in high school students dropping out. Also in the news, read more reporting of Illinois’ minimum teacher salary law, plus the minimum wage and its impacts on school districts.

Don't expect Illinois to require seat belts on school buses anytime soon
Jim Meenan, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, August 25

Chicago high school dropout rate hits all-time low, CPS says
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, August 22

Pritzker signs teacher minimum salary bill
Doug Finke, State Journal-Register, Springfield, August 22

Minimum pay for teachers will ramp up to $40,000
in measure Gov. J.B. Pritzker says is aimed at easing teacher shortage
Jamie Munks, Chicago Tribune, August 22

Area districts now face mandated raises for teachers, support staff
Lyndsay Jones, News-Gazette, Champaign, August 23
 
In today’s Leading News, Governor Pritzker has signed the law increasing the teacher minimum wage over time. Effingham CUSD 40 talks TIFs. Mercer County SD 404 will have an Aledo police officer on site full-time. Minooka CCSD 111 creates a diversity committee. Also in the news, a gun belonging to a licensed school staff member was pointed by one student at another in an incident in Ohio last spring.
 
Peter Hancock, CNI/Kane County Chronicle, August 22
 
Dawn Schabbing, Effingham Daily News, August 21
 
Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, August 22
 
Alex Ortiz, Morris Herald-News, August 20
 
Dean Narciso, Columbus Dispatch/State Journal-Register, Springfield, August 21
In today’s Leading News, Rockford SD 205 reports additional state funding. In a story that drew national attention, Zion SD 6 has accepted resignations from 50 teachers and staff members. Oregon CUSD 220 adds security upgrades and visitor screening systems. The Litchfield CUSD 12 school board opens a discussion on consolidation. Also in the news, higher education officials say the widely-reported “guardianship scam” may not be widespread. 

Rockford Public Schools to receive $1.6M in additional state funds
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, August 20

Many Alarmed As Nearly 50 Zion Teachers, Staff Quit Just Before School Starts
Charlie De Mar, CBS-2, Chicago, August 20

Oregon schools implement new security system
Vinde Wells, Ogle County News, August 20

Litchfield Board Begins Consolidation Study Deliberation
Mike Plunkett, The Journal-News, Hillsboro, August 19

Illinois higher education officials say guardianship scam
is not widespread problem
Peter Hancock, CNI/The Pantagraph, Bloomington, August 8
 
In today’s Leading News, a second issue postpones the start of school in Granite City CUSD 9. Cannabis-laced candy is reportedly handed out to a few students at Rock Island/Milan SD 41’s high school. Batavia PSD 101 and Norridge SD 80 discuss teacher contracts. Also in the news, the new school year brings new, multi-sensory and accessible playgrounds to suburban school districts.

'I'm bored' | Students ready to start school
after Granite City School District pushes back start date again
Jasmine Payoutem KDSK, St. Louis, August 20

Cannabis candy passed out at Rock Island High School
Anthony Watt, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, August 20

Norridge District 80 teacher contracts offers no raises
Taylor Hartz, Norridge-Harwood Heights News, August 20

Batavia school district, teachers union reach tentative contract agreement
Sandy Bressner, Kane County Chronicle, August 20

New accessible school playgrounds are
a 'natural extension of the inclusive world'
Bob Susnjara, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 21
 
In today’s Leading News, conversations begin but school districts wait for updates after Illinois becomes the fourth state to include LGBTQ history in curricula. A state-level advisory group will look study Illinois’ broadband capacity.  Students in Rockford will less time on the bus. Arlington Heights-based THSD 211 offers its tentative budget. Also in the news, more incidents of vaping bring prevention topics to the forefront.

Local schools await LGBTQ law guidance 
Susan DeVilder, Star Courier, Kewanee, August 16

Pritzker appoints broadband advisory group
Doug Finke, State Journal-Register, Springfield, August 15

Thousands of Rockford students headed for shorter bus rides
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, August 2

District 211 aims to stay out of debt with tentative budget
Eric Peterson, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 16

Vaping showing up in schools
Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 12
 
In today’s Leading News, read more about discussions prompted by the first day of school. Blue Ridge CUSD 18 aims for a teacher contract as the academic year begins. Food allergies are under consideration in school districts across the nation, as are classroom temperatures. Also in the news, a unique welcome to students in Central SD 104 in O’Fallon.

Illinois schools are starting earlier and earlier — except in Chicago
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, August 14

Blue Ridge teachers negotiating contract as school year begins
Lyndsay Jones, News-Gazette, Champaign, August 15

Schools adapt to increased prevalence of food allergies
Carrie Steinweg, Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle, August 9

When is it too hot to go to school?
The Washington Post/Pekin Times, August 18

O’Fallon principal raps remix of ‘Old Town Road’
to welcome students back to school
Todd Eschman, Belleville News-Democrat, August 15
 
In today’s Leading News, students returning to school will have some new experiences in curriculumcomfortcollaboration, and completed construction projects, although some schools have already experienced severe weather delays.
 
Marilyn Thomas, Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle, August 4
 
Scott Hilyard, Journal Star, Peoria, August 10
 
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 1
 
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, August 2
 
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, August 12
 
Kavahn Mansouri, Belleville News-Democrat, August 13
In today’s Leading News, the prevalence of e-cigarette and nicotine replacement products has prompted a lawsuit in Lake County. Preschool graduates receive high marks in Alton. Quincy SD 172 opens a new elementary school. Morton CUSD 709 initiates school safety study. Also in the news, The Daily Herald looks at recipients of new school funding dollars
 
Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, August 14
 
Scott Cousins, The Telegraph, Alton, August 7
 
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, August 11
 
Steve Stein, Journal Star, Peoria, August 12
 
Jake Griffin, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 12
In today’s Leading News, CPS indicates a prioritization of neighborhood schools. The statewide conversation on consolidation restarts. Champaign CUSD 4 addresses P-Card policy. The Ottawa Times reports on a TIF extension.  Also in the news, more school districts take a look at solar power.

$619M for renovations at 300 schools
shows new priority on neighborhood schools,
CPS says
Nader Issa and Mitch Dudek, Chicago Sun-Times, August 8

State Rep. McSweeney's next consolidation target: school districts
Doug T. Graham, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 1

Champaign school board OKs new 'P-card' policy, revised plan for crisis drill
Lyndsay Jones, News-Gazette, Champaign, August 13

Ottawa Elementary signs agreement with city on downtown TIF extension
Brent Bader, Ottawa Times, August 6

Local schools awaiting news on solar power project timetable
Susan DeVilder, Star Courier, Kewanee, August 2
In today’s Leading News, Naperville CUSD 203 aims to make its ends and progress available to the public. Cost overruns halt a project in Amboy CUSD 272. School districts add a parking pass and fee for student drivers. CHSD 128’s Libertyville High School starts the school year without a new pool. Also in the news, UIC gets funding for a program for developing math teachers in the south suburbs.


District 203 board wants to make goals, commitments and progress
made available to public online
Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, August 8

$2 million overage halts Amboy school construction project
The Amboy News, August 6

Hoopeston Area, ALAH join high schools charging students for parking permits
Noelle McGee, News-Gazette, Champaign, August 9

New Libertyville High pool won't be ready when classes start Monday
Russell Lissau, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 7

UIC project, backed by $4.7M grant,
to benefit math teachers in south suburban schools
Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, August 7
In today’s Leading News, a bill signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker on Wednesday allows teacher candidates to take the next career steps without the test of basic skills. School year start dates have been moved for two school districts due to HVAC issues and construction. East Maine SD 63 will start on time with changes, including full-day kindergarten. Also in the news, and speaking of kindergarten, recent Homewood SD 153 graduates participate in a safety video that deploys “cuteness as a force for good.”

Pritzker signs law eliminating 'basic skills' test for prospective teachers
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, August 8

Mold causes Unity Point in Carbondale to push back school start date to Aug. 28
Isaac Smith, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, August 8

ROWVA start date moved to Aug. 20
The Register-Mail, Galesburg, August 7

School District 63 to launch year with full-day kindergarten,
three-year middle school, other changes
Jennifer Fisher, Pioneer Press/Herald-Spectator, Niles, August 6

Box cars for bus safety
Eric Crump, Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle, August 8
In today’s Leading News, the expiration date approaches for the DeKalb CUSD 428 teachers contract.  The Illinois Laborers’ and Contractor’s Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program (ILCJATP) holds career outreach for high school students. Barrington CUSD 220 plans a March referendum. National efforts towards the threat of school shootings focus on prevention. Also in the news, another look at the new standards for teaching and learning world languages in Illinois.

DeKalb 428 teachers' union stages sit-in
at school board meeting as contract deadline looms
Kelsey Rettke, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, August 7

Laborers shift focus to training high school students 
Tyler Pletsch, The Intelligencer, Edwardsville, August 6

District 220 working on details for new referendum in March
Bob Susnjara, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 1

Putting together the puzzle: school teams assess threats
Carolyn Thompson and Martha Waggoner, AP/Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, August 6

Criteria raised for school translators,
new ways to teach foreign languages rolled out
Stephanie Rodriguez, WEEK, Peoria, August 1
In today’s Leading News, school districts are affected by the  data security breachimpacting Pearson and its AIMSweb program. Decatur SD 61 support staff considers  mediation. Kaneland CUSD 302 and its teachers finalize a  new contract. Schools and law enforcement work together on  safety and security. Also in the news, Waukegan CUSD 60 seeks information and attention from potential  casino developers.

River Trails school district affected by Pearson data breach
Mary Chappell,  Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 1

Decatur teaching assistants' union
seeks federal mediator
after contract talks stall
Valerie Wells,  Decatur Herald and Review, August 1

Kaneland teachers union, school board ratify new contract
just before classes begin
Chris Walker,  Kane County Chronicle, August 5

Peoria educators, law enforcement collaborating to keep schools safe 
Scott Hilyard,  Peoria Journal Star, July 31

Waukegan District 60 asks prospective casino developers
to keep the schools in mind ...
Emily K. Coleman,  Lake County News-Sun, August 4
In today’s Leading News, a new state law will require students to fill out the FAFSA (or an alternative) as part of their high school graduation requirements. Rockford SD 205’s middle and high school students will have later start times on Thursdays, for teacher collaboration time. Quincy SD 172 has a new curriculum for elementary grades. Champaign CUSD 4 rethinks its “social probation” system for students in extracurricular activities. Also in the news, ISBE announces changes to world language teaching and learning.


New law, signed by Pritzker in Decatur,
requires high-school students to complete FAFSA
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, August 1

Rockford Public Schools institutes late start Thursdays
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, August 1

New curriculum maps help push QPS classroom innovation
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, July 28

Central, Centennial tweak versions of 'social probation'
Lyndsay Jones, News-Gazette, Champaign, July 30

State Board of Education releases new world languages standards
Peter Hancock, CNI/State Journal-Register, Springfield, August 1
In today’s In today’s Leading News includes follow-ups to the “loophole” story:  state and federal authorities respond and the University of Illinois is among the colleges  investigating. St, Charles CUSD 303 contemplates a  master plan for facilities. The ROE for Regional Office of Education for Henry, Bureau and Stark reaches out to  potential substitute teachers. Also in the news, pediatricians chime in on  kindergarten readiness.

US Department of Education wants to stop 'student aid fraud scheme'
where parents give up custody through dubious guardianships
Jodi S. Cohen, Duaa Eldeibm and Melissa Sanchez, ProPublica Illinois/ The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, July 31

UI withdrew its financial aid from 4 students suspected to be involved in guardianship 'scam'
Julie Wurth,  Champaign News-Gazette, July 31

Why District 303 might complete a facility master plan
Lauren Rohr,  Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, July 30

Regional Supt. puts emphasis on substitutes
Susan DeVilder,  Star Courier, Kewanee, July 26

Many youngsters aren’t ready for kindergarten, pediatricians say
Serena Gordon,  Chicago Tribune, July 29

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