Dusty Rhodes

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The recent surge in cases of measles across the United States has focused attention on the choices families make about immunizing their children. Like most parents, the young married couple I’m about to introduce you to has tried to do everything possible to ensure their baby is healthy. 

"We made our own food," the dad says.

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

Senator Andy Manar has re-introduced a measure proposing to change the way schools are funded in Illinois. This time, it has new formulas and a request for more money. 

Like the version debated last session, which passed the Senate but stalled in the House, this formula would give more money to districts with low property values and high rates of poverty. 

Representative Sue Scherer, a Democrat from Decatur and a former teacher, talked about the inequity from personal experience.

 

 

Parents and educators alike have been questioning the increasing number of standardized tests now required in public schools. A measure filed by Illinois State Representative Will Guzzardi would give moms and dads a way to allow their kid to skip these exams. 

Steven Salaita, the professor whose social media posts cost him a job at the University of Illinois, has filed suit in federal court against the university Board of Trustees, Chancellor Phyllis Wise, other university officials and "unknown donors."

University spokesman Tom Hardy released a statement saying the university will "vigorously defend against meritless claims" and citing several of the tweets that persuaded the Board of Trustees to reject, by a vote of 8-1, the appointment that he had been offered and accepted.

Illinois has a new set of rules for when and how the state can take over failing school districts. It was signed into law Monday by Gov. Pat Quinn before he left office. 

The law, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Heather Steans, re-prioritizes the board’s responsibilities.

“It really is to narrow and make it clear what the criteria are for both intervening in a district -- and exiting.”

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