Education

Education and learning

State of Illinois

Illinois lawmakers are losing a century-old political perquisite -- the ability to award college scholarships. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation this morning to end the practice after one last round of awards this summer.

"Instead of scholarships going to those who truly deserve them and who were qualified for scholarships to go to college,” the governor said, “too often the program was abused in a political way."

State reduces funding for NIU

Jul 3, 2012

Illinois' new budget includes a 6% reduction in higher education spending. For Northern Illinois University, that means a cut of more than $6 million.

Illinois' association of regional school superintendents will meet next month. Part of the discussion will include how to move forward on eliminating nine regional offices of education.

The Rockford School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night — without discussion or debate — to lower the property tax rate by 58 cents for next year’s tax bills.

The owner of a $100,000 house could see a 10 percent reduction in his or her property tax bill, at a cost of roughly $9.3 million to the Rockford School District in fiscal 2013.

Governor Pat Quinn has signed a measure that will reduce Illinois' regional offices of education. To avoid elimination, offices must serve at least 61,000 residents. Whiteside County's population is under 59,000.

Five members of the embattled East St. Louis School Board filed motions this morning in St. Clair County Circuit Court asking a judge to reverse the state of Illinois' decision to have them removed.

The members argued in court documents that the unanimous Illinois State Board of Education vote Thursday was unconstitutional and infringed on the "fundamental right to vote."

For the first time in its history, the Illinois State Board of Education has taken over a public school district.

The board voted unanimously today to dissolve the seven-member elected board of the East St. Louis Public Schools and replace it with an appointed five-member oversight panel to run the school district.

The district already was under state financial oversight, and the board previously had entered an agreement giving a state consultant the final say over most decisions.

Beloit College professor dies in Chile

Jun 21, 2012
Beloit College

Dan Shea, an anthropology professor at Beloit College since 1968, died after a fall Tuesday night while on a research trip with students in Chile.

 Shea and five Beloit students arrived June 8 and were scheduled to remain in Chile until June 27. A Beloit College alumnus and an adjunct professor also were on the trip; they remain with the students at this time. Plans are being made for their return as soon as possible.

Nine Rockford schools will be getting additional resources to help administrators deal with discipline and truancy problems and a lack of parent involvement.

Officials with the Rockford School District say the schools are in what they're calling a neighborhood empowerment zone, which has high crime rates and a higher volume of 911 calls. Officials say more than 90 percent of students at the schools also are economically disadvantaged and qualify for free or reduced lunch rates.

Illinois schools face deep cuts

Jun 8, 2012

Illinois schools would see $200 million in cuts in the budget approved by state lawmakers last week. An Associated Press analysis says if the governor signs the budget, Illinois would fall further behind in providing basic education funding for each student.

Rockford-area dental screenings improve smiles

Jun 8, 2012
capl.washjeff.edu

A successful dental screening program in several northern Illinois school districts will continue this summer,  and will even expand this fall.  

The screening program identifies students who may not regularly see a dentist for reasons including lack of insurance or transportation. During the past school year, more than 900 students in the Belvidere, Harlem, and Rockford School Districts received dental treatment.

Selling back college textbooks can be frustrating

May 18, 2012
WNIJ

As college courses wrap up for the year, college students are trying to get the best prices for their used textbooks.  

Some textbooks will be updated, and students will not get a penny for those. Others may be damaged or missing portions.  Nothing for those either. 

Increasingly, students are going online to buy and sell or opting for a cheaper upfront cost for an electronic version of the course material.

Illinois is in the process of bolstering requirements for teacher evaluations. The changes come amid a national discussion about separating guidelines for evaluating special-education teachers.

The school board is preparing to vote on the proposal later this month. Supporters hope it will boost the district's graduation rate.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

This fall’s crop of freshmen at Northern Illinois University can expect to pay $200 more in tuition per semester than last year’s freshmen. The NIU Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase of 4.75% at its meeting Thursday.

WNIJ

A state commission says Illinois schools shouldn’t be forced to consolidate. Monday night's hearing in Rockford was the final of four public hearings on the issue.  The Classrooms First Commission has now toured its plan around the state.    House Bill 1216 was signed into law on August 23, 2011, creating a commission to research issues affecting school districts.

Illinois lawmakers could consider a proposal this spring that would change how school districts are reimbursed for transportation costs. The state board of education is in the process of drawing up the plan. One idea being floated is to allow school districts to charge students to ride the bus.

Cents and Sensibility

Apr 25, 2012

Most of the events during Money Smart Week are given by finance professionals. One set of presentations, though, is not being given by a bank officer or a CPA. Northern Illinois University's Financial Cents program employs students to teach their peers what they need to know when it comes to money. Now, during Money Smart Week, they're doing the same thing for the larger community. 

School District Consolidation

Apr 20, 2012

Some northern Illinois school districts are part of voluntary downsizing efforts identified in a commission's report that was issued this week. 

District 205 Leader Gets Contract Extension

Apr 11, 2012

 

The Rockford school board has approved a contract extension for the district's interim superintendent. 

Lottery Dollars for Education

Apr 3, 2012

 

Do schools benefit from increased lottery sales?

New evidence suggests environmental factors in the womb could lead to  increased body weight in later years. The research appears  in the journal Plos One.  Scientists found changes around the DNA at birth which may result from a mother's diet or exposure to pollution or stress. These changes were linked to a higher Body Mass Index in children around the age of nine.

Full Story from BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17234033

Northern Illinois University is looking for non-NIU undergraduate students who are interested in environmental issues to work closely on research projects with university scientists.

The Art of the Sales Pitch

Feb 28, 2012

Students from around the globe tested their sales skills this past weekend at the 2nd Annual World Collegiate Sales Open held at Northern Illinois University. 

Tentative Contract Agreement at RVC

Feb 16, 2012

A labor dispute at a community college in northern Illinois could be nearing an end.  A tentative contract agreement has been reached between Rock Valley College and its faculty union. 

A community college in northern Illinois is getting industry recognition for its program related to wind energy. 

SIU Strike Over

Nov 10, 2011

The faculty strike at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is over. 

Pages