Lee Gaines, Education Reporter
Lee V. Gaines is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, Chicago Magazine, Crain’s, the Pacific Standard and the Marshall Project. She also recently completed a fellowship with Chicago non-profit journalism lab, City Bureau.
Lee has more than six years of experience producing breaking news, magazine-length feature stories and investigative reports on subjects including education, the medical marijuana industry, criminal justice reform, social justice, local and regional politics, in addition to stories about Chicago’s thriving music and arts scene.
A Rhode Island native, Lee began her career as a staff reporter for GateHouse Media New England covering the Boston suburbs.
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
illinois newsroom, Nicole Davis said her uncle was diagnosed with late-stage cancer after his release from prison in 2014. He was confined to his home
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