Lee Gaines, Education Reporter
Lee Gaines is an award-winning journalist whose work has been heard on multiple national broadcasts, including All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Here & Now. Lee was hired in late 2017 to be the education reporter for Illinois Public Media and Illinois Newsroom.
Prior to her work at IPM, Lee wrote for newspapers and magazines in Chicago and nationally. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, Chicago Magazine, the Pacific Standard and the Marshall Project. She also recently completed a fellowship with the Education Writers Association.
About half of Gladys Marquez’s students can’t access the internet at home. Marquez teaches English language learners at Dwight Eisenhower High School in Blue Island
The Illinois State Board of Education announced late last week that remote learning days will start for students across the state Tuesday, March 31 and
CHAMPAIGN – Champaign Unit 4 school officials plan to distribute Chromebooks to students whose families do not have a device at home. In a message
There’s a growing debate over how to measure the success of college in prison programs beyond how many students are released and return to prison.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced this week that Illinois prisons would be closed to new inmates in response to growing concern about the COVID-19 pandemic spreading
The University of Illinois Board of Trustees voted earlier this month to increase health insurance premiums by more than 30 percent for students at its
Advocates and correctional officials are calling on Illinois and other states across the country to release youth from juvenile detention facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dawnal Mahan is an essential employee. She manages the cafeteria inside Chatham Elementary School, a kindergarten through fourth grade school in the small town located
Elementary and secondary school districts across Illinois are moving toward online or e-learning while students remain at home in an effort to contain the coronavirus.
Elementary and secondary schools in Illinois are closed through at least March 30 to slow the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel
The Illinois Department of Corrections announced Friday that visitors will be temporarily barred from the state’s correctional facilities in an effort to prevent the spread
Update: This story was updated at 1:35 p.m. Friday, March 13, 2020 to state that the Illinois Department of Corrections is not currently testing individuals
Alissa Xiao is confined to a bedroom in her parents home in the East Bay region of California. Xiao, 20, is a junior at the
A group of 13 students from Centennial High School in Champaign traveled to Atlanta, Georgia earlier this month for a two-day training in nonviolence strategies.
Each year, roughly 28,000 people are released from Illinois prisons. Now, four of those men will live in a modest five-bedroom home in a residential
When Ralph Gray transferred from one prison in Illinois to another, he didn’t know the move would mean sacrificing access to an education. Gray guessed
When he was in his early 20s, Matt purchased a pound of weed to split with his friends. The drug dealer dropped it off at
Garden Hills Elementary School parents, neighbors and Champaign community members said they opposed a proposal that would swap the school’s campus in north Champaign with
URBANA – Practicing yoga could lead to improved brain health, according to a University of Illinois review of the available research on how the practice
During their Tuesday evening meeting, the Urbana School District 116 Board of Education reaffirmed its decision to hire two full-time school resource officers (SRO), including one each for Urbana Middle and High Schools.
To solve a host of problems the district faces, Champaign Unit 4 Schools officials recently proposed swapping two elementary school campuses. At a Unit 4
The man credited with inventing the LED light is the honorary grand marshal of the Champaign Center’s 19th Annual Parade of Lights. Nick Holonyak, Jr.
The Illinois Department of Corrections has revised its publication review policy to include a centralized appeal process for incarcerated people who feel they’ve been unfairly
Yuliana Quintana worries she won’t succeed in college because she didn’t have access to lab equipment, Advanced Placement classes, and other resources…
When Francisco Gamino arrived at Parkland College four years ago, he didn’t know how to balance work and find the time he needed to study.
Dianne Gordon, a mom who lives in Champaign, knew something was wrong with her daughter Rory the minute she stepped off the school bus one afternoon in…
The new director of the Illinois Department of Corrections said during a legislative hearing in Chicago on Monday that the agency plans to revise its…
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is cosponsoring legislation that would rollback one of the provisions of the 1994 crime bill. It’s called the Restoring…
Illinois lawmakers plan to ask state prison officials why more than 200 books were removed from a college in prison program’s library at the Danville…
Augie Torres said he missed between seven and 10 job interviews when he was released from prison in October 2014 because he was on an electronic monitor…
Last week, Illinois Newsroom reported on the removal of more than 200 books from the shelves of a college in prison program’s library inside the…
When she found out that staff at the Danville Correctional Center had removed more than 200 books from a library inside the prison’s education wing,…
The Illinois Department of Corrections requested a massive increase in funding for educational supplies as part of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s state budget proposal. The request
Just because someone has four walls around them every night, that doesn’t mean they’re housed. That’s what Paul Hamann believes. He’s the president and…
Melissa Esparza fled her home in west suburban Chicago two years ago. Then 16, she said her parents became physically violent after years of verbal…
Last summer, Chantil was forced to leave the townhome she shared with her two daughters and her mother in Des Plaines. (We’re withholding Chantil’s last…
Why Even Illinois’s Department Of Corrections Wants To Fix The Way The State Does Electronic Monitoring
Nicole Davis said her uncle was diagnosed with late-stage cancer after his release from prison in 2014. He was confined to his home because of
Illinois could save millions of dollars on incarceration costs if the federal ban on Pell Grants for inmates was lifted, according to a new report
Perry Cline’s story is a remarkable one. He’s a formerly incarcerated 51-year-old man who overcame the odds to graduate from the University of Illinois…
Like many people coming out of prison, Perry Cline never thought he’d get a college degree. “I thought I was just going to be another bum in the streets…
Last spring, Illinois Newsroom reported that the Illinois Department of Corrections spent less than $300 on books for all of its prisons the prior year.
Four years ago, Chris Miner decided to apply to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Then 40-years-old, Miner was encouraged to apply by a…
The push to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois could get a jump-start early next year. State Sen. Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat, said this week
Earlier this year, I reported for Illinois Newsroom that the Illinois Department of Corrections spent less than $300 on books for its educational programs across
Knowing there were other transgender inmates in prisons in Illinois and across the country made Leila Lee feel as though she wasn’t alone. She said it…
Lily Furgeson had a great experience in sex ed in middle school. Furgeson, who is a 17-year-old senior at a Chicago Public Schools high school, said her eighth grade sex ed teacher made sure to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identities as part of their curriculum.
Access to high-speed internet stops about seven miles east of both Nippersink School District 2 and Richmond-Burton Community High School District 157, according to Tom Lind.
Illinois Newsroom asked the candidates running for Congress in the 13th District (where Martin lives) what they plan to do about the issue if elected.
In 2000, Charles Davidson was arrested the day before the 4th of July for a crime he said he didn’t commit. Urbana Police responded that
Illinois schools will soon have to publicly report and be evaluated on a new performance measurement: chronic absence. But researchers and superintendents have raised questions
In his first major political speech since leaving office, former President Barack Obama took aim at the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress — blaming
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law a slew of legislation this month intended to alleviate Illinois’s teacher shortage. But some teachers and union leaders doubt
Michelle McAnarney said she realized her daughter Darby was different than other children soon after she was born. “She was always a little delayed…
In a community with as many resources as Champaign-Urbana, why does gun violence persist? That’s the question Donte’ Lotts, a community liaison for CU Fresh
There were more than 2,000 teaching, administrative, support staff and other positions across the state that went unfilled during the 2016-17 school year, according to a report from the Illinois State Board of Education.
Simple, everyday tasks – like ordering coffee, crossing the street, or getting gas – can be an obstacle, or an intimidating challenge for people recently
Children who experience trauma often face behavioral, health and academic challenges, according to decades of research . Kristine Argue, instructional…
Last month, about a dozen people gathered in the basement of a church in Champaign, Ill. to learn how traumatic experiences affect the lives of
Every Sunday, a group of women meets in the basement of a church in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood to sort and package boxes of books. The boxes are sent to women
Hundreds of classes have been canceled and dozens more relocated as a strike by graduate employees at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign continues into a second
The publisher of a newsletter about the criminal justice system filed a lawsuit this week against the Illinois Department of Corrections alleging that multiple state
About 100 teachers and school support staff spent the better part of three hours inside a junior high school gymnasium in rural, east central Illinois in early