Uvalde: Visitations, funerals and burials, one after another

UVALDE, Texas — It should have been the first day of a joyous week for Robb Elementary School students — the start of summer break. Instead on Monday, the first two of 19 children slain inside a classroom were being remembered at funeral visitations. The gathering for 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza was at Hillcrest Memorial […]

The names: 19 children, 2 teachers killed in Uvalde school

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — Nineteen children were looking forward to a summer filled with Girl Scouts and soccer and video games. Two teachers were closing out a school year that they started with joy and that had held such promise. They’re the 21 people who were killed Tuesday when an 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself in a fourth-grade classroom at […]

Deadliest School Shootings Since 2007

This AP digital embed table shows school shootings since 2007 that killed more than four people. The massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas would mark the 11th such shooting. This table is current as of May 24, 2022 and will be updated as events warrant.

University of Illinois dining and building workers vote to allow September strike

URBANA — Service workers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign are willing to strike in September after their current contract expires. Of the workers who cast their votes over the past two weeks, 91 percent authorized the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 to start preparing to strike. “Not only was it an overwhelming […]

Yankee Ridge hosts Urbana French immersion program

URBANA – Students learn in both French and English at Yankee Ridge Elementary School on the south side of Urbana. Yankee Ridge hosts Urbana School District 116’s only French dual-language program. “It’s not just beneficial to our students who are learning English,” said Yankee Ridge principal Mykah Jackson. “It’s also important for our students who […]

Newbery-winning author visits Champaign school for Asian American Heritage Month

CHAMPAIGN – Students at Kenwood Elementary had a special visitor on Tuesday.  Newbery-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly — a Filipina-American children’s book author — conducted a brainstorming session via Zoom with the students. She then spun a story out of the class’ brainstorm. Trevor Nadrozny is the principal at Kenwood Elementary School in Champaign. He […]

Macon-Piatt hosts family night to dispel rumors about Social Emotional Alternative Program

DECATUR — Two Special Education programs housed at Decatur Public Schools are combining next year. Administrators worry that the change has prompted misinformation to spread. “We want our new students to feel welcome. It’s not a scary place. It’s not a jail. People have almost made those correlations,” says Social Emotional Alternative Program Principal Jessica […]

Urbana schools debate renewing police officer contracts

URBANA — Urbana School District 116 is debating whether to keep police officers in its schools for another three years. Staff and students want them to stay, according to limited survey data and anecdotes from students, teachers and administrators. Taren Nance is the principal at Urbana High School. He says students trust the officer at […]

Chicago rap duo Mother Nature brings mental health skills to Unit 4 school

CHAMPAIGN – A fourth grader takes the microphone at Booker T. Washington STEM Academy in Champaign, to cheers from his classmates. Professional hip hop artists – who go by the stage names Klevah and TRUTH – have set clear rules for the freestyling circle, or cypher, over the course of a week with the students. […]

Booker T. Washington students focus on ‘fun science’ on Fridays

CHAMPAIGN — A second grader asks the University of Illinois graduate student to test out the egg parachute he’s holding. It’s “Fab Friday” at Booker T. Washington STEM Academy in Champaign, where students spend half the day with visitors from various math and science careers. “I’ve got a lot of kids that don’t think they […]

Educators push back against testing requirements

SPRINGFIELD – Teachers and other education professionals are urging the Illinois State Board of Education to reduce the amount of time students spend on standardized tests each year and to adopt a new testing system that produces more useful information to help teachers improve their instruction. “One thing that we’re saying and that our members […]

The education culture war is raging. But for most parents, it’s background noise

WASHINGTON — Math textbooks axed for their treatment of race; a viral Twitter account directing ire at LGBTQ teachers; a state law forbidding classroom discussion of sexual identity in younger grades; a board book for babies targeted as “pornographic.” Lately it seems there’s a new controversy erupting every day over how race, gender or history […]

Pritzker signs 4 laws to tackle shortage of teachers, aides

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ governor has signed four pieces of legislation into law aimed at easing a shortage of teachers and classroom aides in public schools. The new laws lower the fee to reinstate a lapsed teaching certificate, allow student teaching by college seniors, lower the minimum age for classroom aides and extend the number of […]

Unit 4 kindergarten registration closes Saturday

Registration closes Saturday for those wishing to select a school for their Champaign Unit 4 kindergartener. Families rank all 12 of the district’s elementary schools in the registration process. Then a computer algorithm places students based on the ranking and a few other factors, like where siblings attend. Orlando Thomas is the executive director of […]

With inflation, Illinois teachers earn less than they did a decade ago

A woman with a face mask holds a sign that says, "Listen to your teacher."

CHAMPAIGN — Teacher salaries in Illinois have not kept up with inflation. That’s true nationwide, according to new research by the labor union, the National Education Association. Champaign Federation of Teachers co-president Mike Sitch says he’s particularly worried about young teachers right now. “Those [young] individuals usually feel the pain of inflation more than the […]