January 2024 Leading News

In today’s Leading News, concerns are high as violence against students is reported. Also in the news, discover a guide to IEPs produced by Northern Public Radio.  

Police investigating attack on Muslim student at Glendale Heights middle school
Cindy Hernandez, Chicago Sun-Times, January 29

Mothers mourn sons killed in Loop shooting outside CPS high school: ‘I’m still calling his name’
Mary Norkol, Chicago Sun-Times, January 29

Video shows educators at University of Chicago charter school mock special education student, call him ‘dumb’
Stacy St. Clair, Chicago Tribune, January 31

A guide to Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) & 504 Plans for Illinois families
Peter Medlin, Northern Public Radio, January 29
In today’s Leading News, read updated coverage of some topics we’ve been following.

Support staff at Crystal Lake D47 file unfair labor practice charge after district hires staffing firm
Zareen Syed, Chicago Tribune, January 30

Authorities promise harsh response to latest fights at Decatur schools
Scott Perry, Decatur Herald and Review, January 26

Salem Grade School Board approves 12-year extension of city’s TIF Two
Bruce Kropp, WJBD, Salem, January 27

After open meetings violation Yorkville School Board votes to comply with AG orders
David Petesch, Kendall County Now, January 26

D161 board debates closing schools for elections
Chris Weber, Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle, January 25
In today’s Leading News, read about reading.

Illinois OKs plan to revamp how reading is taught
Mawa Iqbal, WBEZ, Chicago, January 24

Illinois education looks for better ways to teach reading and writing
Madison Porter, WEEK, Peoria, January 26

District 186's 'Real Men Read' strives to model reading for third grade boys
Randy Eccles, NPR Illinois, Springfield, January 24

State group urges Edwardsville schools to hire certified librarian
Penny Weaver, Edwardsville Intelligencer, January 25

CCSD21 middle-schoolers total nearly 2,000 books read during first trimester as part of reading initiative
Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 18
In today’s Leading News, there’s talk in Cook County about exempting school district employees from the county’s new paid leave policy. Decatur SD 61 raises the bar – both ceremonially and literally – for its magnet school students. The Daily Herald continues coverage of upcoming referendums. Salem SD 111 seeks more information on a TIF. Also in the news, a program for teaching future teachers will continue in and around Nokomis CUSD 22.

After suburban pushback, Cook County leaders propose exempting parks, school districts from paid leave requirements
A.D. Quig and Zareen Syed, Chicago Tribune, January 25

Millions in school projects, pool upgrades are on ballots in DuPage County
Alicia Fabbre, Katlyn Smith, Daily Herald, January 23

American Dreamer students leave their mark on new building
Donnette Beckett, Decatur Herald and Review, January 19

Salem Grade School Board puts off decision on supporting TIF extension
WJBD, Salem, January 19

Nokomis School District Offers Grow Your Own Teachers Program
Tim Zalabak, Taylorville Daily News, January 25
In today’s Leading News, read the first takes on ISBE’s proposed budget. Dongola USD 66 makes plans for its high school students. Decatur SD 61 reviews its organizational chart. Lyons THSD 204 reconsiders the sale of district-owned land. Also in the news, the Daily Herald reports on upcoming referendums.

Illinois State Board of Education to Seek $653M Increase in Upcoming Budget Year
Peter Hancock, CNI/WTTW, Chicago, January 24

Dongola High School makes more adjustments to its student schedule for the 2024-25 academic year
Brad Palmer, WSIU, Carbondale, January 25

Charting who does what in the Decatur School District
Tony Reid, Decatur Herald and Review, January 24

Lyons Township HS District 204 seeks community input on potential land sale
Jesse Wright, Pioneer Press/LaGrange Doings, January23

Kane County voters will get their say on a new high school, higher sales tax
Susan Sarkauskas, Daily Herald, January 23
In today’s Leading News, read about school choice deliberations in Peoria and Chicago public schools, and early childhood grant funding news in Collinsville CUSD 10 and Rochester CUSD 3A. Also in the news, Oswego CUSD 308 undertakes an enrollment study.

Peoria Public Schools severs its relationship with Quest Charter Academy. What we know
Leslie Renken, Peoria Journal Star, January 23

Black parents caught in middle of Chicago’s school choice debate
Sarah Karp, Chicago Sun-Times/WBEZ, January 18

Advancing inclusion in early childhood education: Collinsville's new grant
The Edwardsville Intelligencer, January 15

Rochester receives Smart Start grant to expand preschool access
Patrick M. Keck, State Journal-Register, Springfield, January 19

Oswego SD308 to have enrollment analysis done in face of district’s continued growth
Eric Schelkopf, Kendall County Now, January 19
In today’s Leading News, St. Charles CUSD 303 continues a discussion of boundary changes. Local media reports on school districts dealing with student discipline-related issues. Also in the news, programs aim to bring children back into school.

St. Charles School District 303 moving toward boundary zone changes; Community members engaged
David Petesch, Kane County Chronicle, January 21

Centralia City Grade School Board told high number of discipline issues 1st half of school year; significant progress in test scores
WJBD, Salem, January 10

Lockport student alleges District 205 failed to monitor student in alleged sexual assault
Alexandra Kukulka, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, January 19

Mom alleges son was choked unconscious at O’Fallon High School by another student 
Belleville News-Democrat, January 16

Expensive effort to get high-risk kids back in school is off to a slow start
Sarah Karp  and Patrick Smith, Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ, January 10
In today’s Leading News, education officials discuss the federal education agenda. Also in the news, school districts discuss and unveil facilities projects and talk about emergency repairs.

Biden Admin. Says New K-12 Agenda Tackles Absenteeism, Tutoring, Extended Learning
Libby Stanford, Education Week, January 17

Rantoul high school seeking bids for second phase of expansion/renovation
By Dave Hinton, the News-Gazette, January 12, 2024

Excitement builds around the renovated Lanphier High School, get a look at what's new
Zach Roth, Springfield State Journal- Register, January 12

15 Unit 5 school buildings recognized for reduced energy emissions
Drew Zimmerman, Bloomington Pantagraph, January 18

Emergency repairs at Grayslake Middle School push students to CLC for several weeks
Jake Griffin, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 19
In today’s Leading News, Bloomington SD 87 sets goals. Mahomet-Seymour CUSD 3 collaborates within its community. Homewood SD 153 extends its teachers’ contract. The heat is back on and Mattoon CUSD 3 middle schoolers are back in school. Also in the news, mental health screenings for students are mandated stating in the fall.

District 87 board hears goals for student reading levels, language instruction
D. Jack Alkire, Bloomington Pantagraph, January 18

A growing concern: Mahomet city, school boards to huddle
Dave Hinton, Champaign News-Gazette, January 18

District 153, teachers extend contract while work continues on funding
Marilyn Thomas, Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle, January 13

Mattoon Middle School boiler repaired, classes to resume
Rob Stroud, Journal Gazette & Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, January 17

Illinois mandates mental health screenings of students starting this fall
The Southern Illinoisan, January 15
In today’s Leading News, school districts moving forward: Plainfield CCSD 202 reaches parents with a new platform. CPS looks at green buses, hopes for more drivers. Pipes burst at a Decatur SD 61 school. Niles THSD 219 makes plans for facilities at its high schools. Also in the news, Dieterich CUSD 30 makes decisions on special education programs.

Plainfield schools provide new online learning platform for parents
Cathy Janek, Joliet Herald-News/Shaw Local, January 15

CPS to buy green buses with federal grant, but driver shortage remains a challenge for worn-out parents
Alysa Guffey, Chicago Tribune, January 16

Burst water pipes cancel classes for Stephen Decatur Middle School
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, January 15

District 219 approves design plans for a $28.2 million building for Niles Central
Richard Requena, Pioneer Press/Skokie Review, January 15

Dieterich school board accepts special ed program, considers additional school building projects
Herb Meeker, Hometown Register, Mt. Carmel, January 15
In today’s Leading News, the General Assembly is back in session this week. Oswego CUSD 308 looks at cyber-monitoring. Manhattan SD 114 considers complaints about a bulletin board. Also in the news, Waukegan CUSD 60 gets creative with school fees.

With a March 19 primary election looming, Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield
Alex Degman, WBEZ, Chicago, January 12

Funding for migrants, Chicago school board elections on agenda as lawmakers return to Springfield
Jeremy Gorner and Dan Petrella, Chicago Tribune, January 16

Oswego School Board considering system to monitor students’ computer activity
Eric Schelkopf, Shaw Media/Kendall County Now, January 11

Parents spar over bulletin board with Pride symbols in Manhattan District 114 in Will County
Alexandra Kukulka, Daily Southtown, January 11

Waukegan school board approves covering fees by volunteering; ‘(It) is geared toward encouraging civic engagement and involvement’
Steve Sadin, Lake County News-Sun, January 11
In today’s Leading News, another round of winter weather brings another round of closings and conversations about snow days. Also in the news, 8v8 brings football back to some communities.

Major winter storm ahead for Chicago: Here's what you can expect
Laura Bannon and Albert Ramon, WBBM, Chicago, January 12

Illinois Valley blasted with rapidly-falling snow Friday morning
Tom Collins, Shaw Local, Illinois Valley, January 12

E-learning vs. traditional snow days: ‘Quite frankly we don’t want to lose the skillset’
Dylan Smith, WGEM, Quincy, January 11

Snow emergencies in place as winter bears down on region
Dave Dawson, Jacksonville Journal-Courier, January 12

Eight-man football opens up possibilities for smaller schools
Matt Cagle, Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, January 10
In today’s Leading News, school districts make plans for facilities. Also in the news, looking at the impacts of civics classes..

Moline-Coal Valley moves forward on athletic upgrades, Lincoln-Irving expansion
By Olivia Allen, the Dispatch-Argus, January 10, 2024

Mattoon school district may seek bids for new door access, security systems
Rob Stroud, Journal Gazette & Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, January 8

Monticello School District enters into intergovernmental agreement with city
Nora Maberry, Piatt County Journal-Republican, December 27

Dansby Magnet School on schedule and under budget
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, January 10

Civics education is crucial to getting young people engaged in democracy
Joshua Jansa and Eve Ringsmut, Chicago Sun-Times, December 27
In today’s Leading News, Metamora CCSD 1 discusses a March referendum. DeKalb CUSD 428 sets its tax levy after community input. Kankakee SD 111 gets input on the name of its fieldhouse. Also in the news, are snow days becoming a thing of the past?

Metamora Grade School district seeks financial relief in referendum
Collin Schopp, WCBU, Peoria, December 21

DeKalb School District 428 Board approves controversial tax levy amid pressure from taxpayers
Megann Horstead, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, December 22

Committee formed to recommend name for Dist. 111 fieldhouse
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal, December 16

Being curious: Whatever happened to good ol’ fashioned snow days?
Susan DeVilder, Kewanee Voice, January 9

Post-pandemic, eLearning is an option when the weather gets rough
Madson Porter, WEEK, Peoria, January 9
In today’s Leading News, talking about the weather. West Aurora USD 129 develops a health care clinic for its community. Vaping is on the decline among school-age children. Also in the news, wrestling, girls, and questions of equity.

Winter storm hits northern Illinois
Charlene Bielema, Shaw Local Media, January 9

Extra caution on the roads recommended as winter storm hits region
Daniel Bethers, Quincy Herald-Whig, January 9

West Aurora Unit District 129 partnering with VNA Health Care to open healthcare center
Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, January 6

Vaping is finally on a downward trend in schools
Ali Hickerson, Alton Telegraph, January 4

Girls wrestling is Illinois’ fastest growing high school sport. But equity remains elusive for some, parents say.
Jonathan Bullington, Chicago Tribune, January 5
In today’s Leading News, a new law requires next year’s high school health courses to instruct about the dangers of fentanylv. The conversation continues over the Chicago Bears, suburban schools, and property taxes. Belleville-area school districts offer a health clinic. Galena SD approves a bond measure for the March election. Also in the news, the new FAFSA is streamlined, but rollout has complications.

New law requires Fentanyl education in all Illinois high schools starting this year
WAND, Decatur, January 4

Trying to ‘make it happen’: How Arlington Heights is working to resolve tax dispute between Bears, schools
Christopher Placek, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, December 22

Belleville school districts combat rising insurance costs with their own health clinic
Kelly Smits, Belleville News-Democrat, December 19

Galena School Board approves putting $14 million bond measure on March ballot
John Kruse, Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, December 25

FAFSA 'soft launch' proves to be a bit rocky
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review/Journal Gazette & Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, January 6
In today’s Leading News, a northwest Iowa school shooting takes the life of a sixth-grade student. Teachers call for resignations at Black Hawk Area Special Education District. Eldorado CUSD 4 faces pushback after firing its boys basketball coaching staff.  Bloomington SD 87 cleared in lawsuit. Also in the news, following last summer’s investigation and a separation agreement, Paris Union SD 95 seeks a superintendent.

17-year-old kills sixth grader, wounds five others in Iowa school shooting, police say
Nicholas Riccardi and Hannah Fingerhut, Associated Press, January 4

Union president demands resignation of Black Hawk Area Special Education leaders, other employees disagree
Olivia Allen and Gretchen Teske, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, December 22

Eldorado board fires head basketball coach
Matt Cagle and Libby Gerdes, Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, January 2

Federal judge clears District 87 in age discrimination suit
D. Jack Alkire, Bloomington Pantagraph, December 28

Paris 95, Larson part ways
Robby Tucker, The Prairie Press, Paris, December 29
In today’s Leading News, school districts determine plans for facilities projects. Also in the news, more on the CPS conversations on school choice.

District 87 votes to buy State Farm building for pre-K, career services
D. Jack Alkire, Bloomington Pantagraph, December 21

Will District 128 ask voters to fund capital projects? Officials are looking at referendum
Mick Zawislak, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, December 29

Tinley Park’s Kirby District 140 puts off plans for new Fernway Park School, will study options
Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, December 20

Dennis Lab School at center of whirlwind for Decatur schools in 2023
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, December 30

Chicago could move away from school choice. Here’s what that means for parents and students.
Sarah Karp, WBEZ, Chicago December 27

In today’s Leading News, a look at some of the 2023 stories we’ll be talking about in 2024.

As dual credit participation grows in Illinois high schools, study shows gaps widening
Peter Hancock, Capitol News Illinois, State Journal-Register, Springfield, December 29

Chicago Board of Ed wants cops out of public schools this fall, principals told
Sarah Karp, WBEZ, Chicago, January 2

Yorkville Y115 violated state Open Meetings Act with closed session on ‘Just Mercy’ book removal: AG
Eric Schelkopf, Kendall County Now, December 28

What changed after a California school district banned teaching critical race theory?
Sandhya Dirks, National Public Radio, January 1

With pandemic aid expiring and most funds already spent, schools across Illinois face a financial cliff
Sarah Macaraeg, Chicago Tribune, December 27

Leading News

IASB's News Clip Service

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.