Biden: What’s Good For Families Can Also Be Good For Economy

CRYSTAL LAKE — President Joe Biden says that what’s good for families is also good for the economy. The president spoke at a community college in the Chicago suburbs to bolster support for both his bipartisan infrastructure deal and a broader package that he expects will be passed with only Democratic votes. At McHenry County […]

Illinois Bill Requiring Asian American History Education to Address Hate, Discrimination

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois could become the first state to require public schools to teach the history of Asian Americans, a community that reported an increase in anti-Asian hate incidents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History, or TEAACH Act, would require Illinois K-12 public schools to teach a unit of Asian […]

Pritzker Announces $1.6 Billion In Federal Funding For Early Childhood Services

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker announced Friday that $1.6 billion in federal funding will be allocated toward early childhood education and child care providers in Illinois. The funds will be provided through the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in March, Pritzker announced at a news conference in Aurora on Friday, and will include $140 […]

Pritzker Urges Schools To Focus COVID Relief Funds

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker took to the road Monday to urge local school districts in Illinois to carefully target the roughly $7 billion in federal funds they will soon receive in order to help students overcome the learning loss they may have suffered during the pandemic. “We’re all wondering if this was a lost […]

State Releases Guide To School Reopening

SPRINGFIELD — Educators, students and families will face a host of new challenges in overcoming the learning loss that occurred over the past year of mostly remote learning as COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available and schools prepare to fully reopen for in-person learning. To aid in that process, Gov. JB Pritzker announced the release […]

Proposed Legislation Looks To Mandate Sex Education For Schools, Teach Dangers Of ‘Sexting’

SPRINGFIELD – Some Democratic Illinois lawmakers want to adopt more comprehensive sex education standards for K-12 schools to ensure students have a firm understanding of the importance of consent, the consequences of sharing underage sexually explicit material, and knowing when an action is considered sexual abuse. This week, the House Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum […]

Bill Would Allow Special Needs Students To Stay With School Program Past Age 21

Rotunda of Illinois State Capitol

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House Human Services Committee advanced two bills Tuesday, one allowing special needs students to stay with a school program past their 22nd birthday and another allowing the use of certain federal nutrition benefits to purchase feminine hygiene products. House Bill 40, introduced by Rep. Frances Hurley, D-Chicago, would allow special needs students […]

Bill Would End Restraint And Isolation of Students

SPRINGFIELD – A House committee agreed Wednesday to continue working on a bill that aims to end the use of physical restraints and isolation as a way of controlling misbehaving students in public school classrooms. House Bill 219, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D-Northbrook, was introduced in response to a 2019 article by Pro Publica Illinois and […]

Rural Locations, Pandemic Worsen Educator Shortages In East Central Region

Editor’s Note: Lee Enterprises reporters Lenore Sobota, Kelsey Watznauer and Lyndsay Jones of The Pantagraph in Bloomington; Valerie Wells of the Herald & Review in Decatur; and Rob Stroud of the Journal Gazette/Times-Courier in Mattoon-Charleston contributed to this story. SPRINGFIELD – East central Illinois school districts have an even greater difficulty filling teaching positions than […]

GOP Members Hope To Block New Teacher Standards

Rotunda of Illinois State Capitol

SPRINGFIELD – Republican Illinois state lawmakers are pushing back on proposed new standards for teachers and administrators that are scheduled for a hearing before a legislative rulemaking committee later this month. Supporters of the proposed “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards” say they’re merely an attempt to make sure that all educators are trained in […]

State School Board Member Criticizes New Graduation Requirements

Champaign Central High School

SPRINGFIELD – New high school graduation requirements that were part of an omnibus education bill passed during the lame duck session are drawing criticism from some members of the Illinois State Board of Education. Those new requirements were included in House Bill 2170, Amendment 3, which was introduced by Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood. They include the addition […]

Education Bill To Revamp Social Studies Classes

Rotunda of Illinois State Capitol

SPRINGFIELD – Social studies classes in Illinois public schools are about to get a major overhaul, with more emphasis on Black history and the contributions of other underrepresented groups to American culture. In addition, within the next few years, all school districts in the state will be required to offer computer science courses and more […]

Champaign Unit 4 Schools Propose Hybrid In-Person And Distance Learning For Second Quarter

Susan Zola

Champaign Unit 4 school officials outlined a plan for a mix of in-person and distance learning for elementary students in the Second Quarter, at Tuesday night’s school board meeting. Since school began in August, Champaign Unit 4 Schools have been operating on an entirely distance learning basis. However, challenges remain, despite efforts to provide students […]

News Around Illinois – May 19, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

Illinois Supreme Court Disbars Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich CHICAGO — Disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been officially disbarred. The Illinois Supreme Court announced on Monday that it revoked Blagojevich’s law license. The announcement was not a surprise, as Blagojevich didn’t even attend a March hearing in which the matter was discussed and indicated […]

News Around Illinois – May 12, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

Gov. Pritzker’s Office Working From Home After Senior Staffer Tests Positive For COVID-19 CHICAGO – Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Monday that his office is working from home after a senior staffer tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member is reportedly asymptomatic, but staying in isolation. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) also reported 1,266 new […]