Born in 1919 in Decatur, Ellsworth Dansby, Jr., was fascinated by planes. He first flew alone at age 12 – without ever previously riding in a plane. He used knowledge from books he had read to land his solo flight safely.
Born in Decatur, Dansby served in World War II as the master sergeant for the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American division of the U.S. Army Air Corps. The airmen first formed at Chanute Airfield Base in Rantoul.
“This is not an isolated incident.” Decatur school closure exposes gaps in state-required inspections
Decatur Public Schools District 61 only found out it had problems in the two century-old buildings when they brought in a structural engineer in May to look at ceiling leaks and other issues raised by teachers.
The pre-K through 8 students in the DPS 61 Extended Day program had higher attendance, higher reading scores and fewer disciplinary issues than their peers, according to the district.
The newest Decatur Public Schools teaching assistants and security guards make about $19 an hour. Tuesday, they rallied for higher wages.
Teaching assistants and security officers rallied Tuesday in front of the Decatur Public Schools Board of Education meeting.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth has been introducing her School Bus Safety Act since 2018. It would require all school buses be equipped with seat belts, automatic breaks and other safety features.
Students and staff can still access free, take-home, COVID tests on campus. Two weeks in, those tests are in high demand.
“We have common problems, so we need to find common solutions. And there are very, very talented researchers and scholars,” Elvira de Mejia said.
After Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign plans to use socioeconomics, geography instead of race in admissions
“We’ve had a holistic review process that considers all sorts of factors and that [race] has been one of them,” said U of I spokesperson Robin Kaler. That will not be true next year, she said.
Illinois now requires K-12 students to learn Native American history. What has to be in the lessons, and who is checking?
The law requires teachers to cover contemporary Native American history and urban communities like Chicago.
The Unit 4 School District decided to add grades to both Garden Hills and International Prep Academy last year. The rationale was to decrease pre-kindergarten and middle school overcrowding, as well as promote socioeconomic diversity.
The Danville School District 118 school board voted Wednesday to add the officer at South View Upper Elementary School.
Some school districts are using COVID-19 aid to catch up on construction. Is your district one of them?
While the focus of federal COVID-19 relief money for schools was on recovering from the pandemic, districts were allowed to use some for construction. For many districts, it was a once-in-a-lifetime infusion of cash.
Teachers prepare for new Asian American history requirements at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign
Some sessions focused on how to teach amidst political backlash, while others helped attendees learn which children’s books were helpful and which promoted stereotypes.
After a decade of planning and lobbying, the village has put together enough money to build a new bridge so the train can pass over the traffic.
Decatur superintendent to ask for inspections for every school after structural concerns at Dennis Lab School
After structural problems at Dennis Lab School caught Decatur Public Schools administrators by surprise, Superintendent Rochelle Clark wants structural engineers to check every school.
Over half of Vermilion County lost power during severe storms in late June. Can solar panels prevent the next outage?
Most homes with solar panels are connected to the utility grid, and they lose power alongside their neighbors for worker safety reasons.
Alderman and Trep School founder Tricia Teague says small business owners can create as many jobs as large companies, and the jobs are more likely to go to locals.
The Decatur Public Schools board voted Tuesday to install three mobile buildings at Garfield Learning Academy, instead of the one they initially approved. That will allow all 500 Dennis Lab students to move there together, as requested by parents. Earlier this month, engineers found the Dennis Lab buildings were not structurally sound.
DECATUR — Kindergarten through 6th graders from Dennis Lab School in Decatur now know where they will attend school in the fall – Garfield Learning
In a survey of about one-thousand students, about half said they had been the victim of hurtful comments. Over half thought bullying was a problem at school.
After violence at a pop-up party on Sunday left 9 injured, Champaign considers how to prevent future violence
CHAMPAIGN — Neighbors and social workers gathered at the Douglass Annex Thursday to discuss violence at parties that pop up after bars close. Some wanted
Unsafe neighborhoods particularly distress Black men in relationships, new study from University of Illinois finds
Neighborhood quality can make a big difference in the mental health of Black Americans over 10 years – even more than relationship quality.
The events are part of Champaign’s effort to invest in the neighborhood and prevent gun violence.
Six figures dance across a set of old documents at the Spurlock Museum at the University of Illinois. This is called ledger art, and it’s part of a new exhibit about modern Native American culture called “Welcome to the Pow-wow.”
A popular football video game will be back next year – and University of Illinois players may be characters.
University of Illinois INFLUENCE Program (NIL) Coordinator Kamron Cox anticipates athletes will opt to participate in the game and will get a few hundred dollars for doing so.
Current Franklin STEAM Academy Principal Sara Sanders was asked by Champaign Unit 4 Superintendent Shelia Boozer to take on the role.
It was a quiet morning at the University of Illinois’ Campus Recreation Center East. Only a handful of people had dropped in for a COVID-19 test.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and Health Alliance will stop covering at-home tests. The costs of visiting a testing site will depend on an individual’s plan.
The show is part of a growing movement to heal past harms committed against Native Americans. Other efforts include a bill requiring Native American history in public schools and new commitment by the University of Illinois to repatriate ancestral remains.
House Republicans want cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. How would that affect Illinois students with disabilities?
Over 75 percent of Illinois students with disabilities would see reduced supports, according to the US Department of Education.
After a year of bargaining – and a six day strike – faculty and staff at Eastern Illinois University have overwhelmingly ratified a new contract.
Most classes have been on hold at Eastern Illinois University while faculty and staff strike for better wages and hours — alongside faculty at two other public universities in the state.
As Illinois Public Media previously reported, Reynolds supports a partial ban of younger student access to LGBTQ-focused books. Clevenger and Wetzel believe school administrators should be the ones to set curricula, not board members.
Betsy Holder, Amy Armstrong, Jamar Brown and Mark Thies have won the largest share of votes.
Despite being in an untenured position, Jenny Davis took a risk. She persuaded the University of Illinois to establish an office dedicated to implementing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health said they will spend $30 million on portable air purifiers for low-income schools. Each comes with a two year supply of filters.
One candidate running for Decatur school board said he supports age-restricting books with LGBTQ characters.
Teacher, custodian unions grill candidates for Champaign Unit 4 school board on shortages, Black Lives Matter
About three-quarters of districts in Illinois are struggling to hire bus drivers, cafeteria workers and teachers’ aides. Workers in Champaign want to know how future board members will help them.
Some school board candidates this year are pushing to limit lessons on Black history. Where do Champaign Unit 4 candidates stand?
Six candidates say students should learn African American history and the history of racism. The seventh, business owner Mark Holm, declined to be interviewed.
For the average Parkland College student taking classes full-time, tuition and student fee increases will add up to an additional $225 more a semester.
The idea for “Ava Saves The Day” occurred to Breyanna Grays while working with stroke and heart attack patients in emergency rooms.
For Briesha Jackson, the day is an intergenerational commitment.
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is one of many universities behind in repatriating Native American ancestral remains — as required by law.
Associate Chancellor Christopher Span is modeling the platform on sites like Instagram and TikTok, because that’s where teens spend much of their time.
Graduate student Yingying Han wants students to understand their history within the United States. She hopes this will help them understand and combat racism they may experience themselves.
Unlike initial plans, no students will have to switch schools next year – except the 13 students who live west of Champaign in Bondville.
Champaign Unit 4 parents asked: does desegregation help close achievement gaps? Here’s what five education researchers say.
“A lot of research suggests that that attending a high-socioeconomic status (SES) school kind of rubs off on you – more than your own SES even. It’s kind of amazing,” Palardy says.
How will ten Champaign County high schoolers continue Dr. King’s dream? Through environmental, health and housing justice.
“I want to help as many people as possible get the mental health that they need and deserve,” says scholarship winner Halie Thompson.
The Unit 4 school board hired a consulting firm to figure out how to further desegregate its schools. But after months of parent pushback, both the company and the district superintendent are recommending keeping the current schools of choice system, with some tweaks.
Urbana’s school board paused its vote for one Spanish-English school. Now, dual language parents and teachers are setting a deadline.
URBANA – The Urbana school board will reconsider in January how to establish a fully dual-language elementary school for Spanish and English. This comes after
CHAMPAIGN – After parent backlash, the Champaign Unit 4 school board has a new option for further desegregating schools – keeping student placements mostly the
Urbana decide mantener las clases bilingües de español en las escuelas primarias Leal y Dr. Preston Williams
El consejo escolar de Urbana ha decidido no combinar sus dos programas bilingües de español en una sola escuela: Leal Elementary. El cambio hubiera movido
Urbana decides to keep Spanish dual language classes at both Leal, Dr. Preston Williams elementary schools
The Urbana school board has decided not to merge its two Spanish, dual language programs into one school – Leal Elementary. The change would have
CHAMPAIGN — Parkland Executive Vice President Pamela Lau will become the president of the Champaign community college in January. The succession has been planned since
URBANA – Converting adult intensive care beds, and naming nurse teams after Hogwarts houses – these are just a couple of the ways Carle Hospital
Police have arrested one of the people suspected of threatening violence against Urbana High School. The arrest of a 16-year-old girl took place on Tuesday
SAVOY — The Savoy Village Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to recommend the Champaign Unit 4 School District reinstate neighborhood schools. The Savoy Board of
MATTOON — Black and Hispanic students are learning more quickly in the Mattoon school district than in any other school district in east central Illinois.
CHAMPAIGN — As the Champaign Unit 4 School District debates further desegregating its schools, many parents have asked — what else is the district is
CHAMPAIGN — Two open houses at Champaign Unit 4 schools this week yielded the same response – parents don’t want their children to change elementary
CHAMPAIGN — Dozens of parents rallied on Monday evening at the Unit 4 Board of Education meeting in Champaign. They have joined under a new
CHAMPAIGN — University of Illinois researchers published a new database last week on police use of force across the state. The SPOTLITE database – short
URBANA — The two women running for Congress to represent Illinois’ 13th Congressional District differ in their approaches to abortion, the COVID-19 pandemic and more.
Families weigh desegregation benefits, familiarity as Unit 4 discusses abandoning its school choice system
CHAMPAIGN — Families are beginning to weigh in on plans from the Champaign Unit 4 School District to change how it assigns students to elementary
CHAMPAIGN — In December, the Unit 4 school board plans to vote on a new way to assign students to Champaign elementary schools. The Champaign
CHAMPAIGN – In response to bans in neighboring states, the Planned Parenthood clinic located in Champaign is now providing in-patient, surgical abortions. Clinic staff expect
CHAMPAIGN – A business incubator focused on disadvantaged neighborhoods in Champaign is expanding its chess program. The classes started with a handful of teenagers about
Champaign signed contracts with violence prevention groups. Other cities spent COVID relief money on policing.
CHAMPAIGN — Cities across the United States saw a spike in violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden administration encouraged cities to turn to one-time,
Students at Illinois community colleges will focus on skill-building thanks to $5 million dollar grant
CHAMPAIGN – A total of eight Illinois community colleges will soon be certified to do competency-based learning, thanks to $5 million from the U.S. Department
CHAMPAIGN — Undergraduates at the University of Illinois tested positive for COVID-19 in record numbers last week. Julie Pryde leads the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District
CHAMPAIGN – Ri’Chard Frazier took his role as a big brother seriously from a young age. By middle school, being the “tough” one started to
LE ROY – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited Illinois on Tuesday to announce a new investment of $100 million for biofuel infrastructure. Sen.
URBANA — Fall classes began Monday at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. It was also the beginning of the university’s new Illinois Neurodiversity Initiative. The
CHAMPAIGN — Thursday was the first day of school for most Champaign Unit 4 students. Students at International Prep Academy welcomed the second year of
NEWTON — Parts of southern Illinois are recovering after a sudden storm dropped about ten inches of rain and hail in less than 24 hours.
CHAMPAIGN — A new coalition of small nonprofits aims to tackle gun violence in Champaign County. Called H3 for “harm,” “healing” and “hope,” the coalition
Urbana City Council worries whether plasma businesses are predatory. Transfusion physician and local plasma donors do not
URBANA — Cars whoosh past the KEDPLASMA center on Lincoln Avenue. Brandon Olison has spent hours in the building, donating his plasma in exchange for
PEORIA – When Illinois legalized recreational cannabis, state legislators sought to cut those disproportionately affected by marijuana arrests into the new industry’s profits. The path
URBANA — Black facilities workers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign are trying to end racial harassment on the job – through a class action
URBANA — The Urbana City Council voted Monday to allow new jail construction within city limits. Champaign County plans to expand its satellite jail on
CHAMPAIGN — Custodians, assistant teachers and other support staff in the Champaign Unit 4 School District are all making at least $15 an hour, as
DECATUR – Decatur business owner Regan Deering won the 13th Congressional district Republican primary on Tuesday after a close race. In November, she will face
CHAMPAIGN — On Saturday, Chambanites can celebrate the end of slavery at Douglass Park with a bouncy house, photo booth, small business fair and more.
Sunday marks Juneteenth’s second year as a state holiday – and over 150 years of Illinois emancipation days
URBANA — This Sunday marks the second year that Juneteenth will be an official state and federal holiday. Juneteenth celebrates the day in 1865 when
Some schools are lobbying to keep pandemic-era, universal free lunch. Universal free meals are already the reality in Urbana schools
URBANA – While schools across the country brace for the end of universal free lunches, Urbana public schools will continue to offer free meals to
URBANA — Surveyors will start knocking on doors in rural Champaign County this weekend to ask residents if they are happy with their internet service.
CHAMPAIGN – While the nationwide shortage of infant formula is less severe in Champaign County than elsewhere, it has hit low-income families hardest – because
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
URBANA – Students learn in both French and English at Yankee Ridge Elementary School on the south side of Urbana. Yankee Ridge hosts Urbana School
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
DECATUR — Two Special Education programs housed at Decatur Public Schools are combining next year. Administrators worry that the change has prompted misinformation to spread.
URBANA — Urbana School District 116 is debating whether to keep police officers in its schools for another three years. Staff and students want them
CHAMPAIGN – A fourth grader takes the microphone at Booker T. Washington STEM Academy in Champaign, to cheers from his classmates. Professional hip hop artists
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
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
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
Champaign County nonprofits train indigenous interpreters and expand mental health services with COVID-19 relief money
CHAMPAIGN — Champaign-Urbana nonprofits are using COVID-19 relief to help victims of labor and sex trafficking free themselves. To become free and independent, victims need
CHAMPAIGN – Instead of practicing their swings, the baseball players were designing a remote-control car. The First String Little League coaches had decided to give
CHAMPAIGN – If the Champaign Police Department has enough staff, the Champaign Unit 4 School District Board of Education wants to reinstate resource officers –