First Lady Biden Discusses Higher Education Investments In Illinois Visit

SPRINGFIELD—First lady Jill Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visited Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon on Monday to discuss how the American Rescue Plan will support higher education in Illinois. After touring the facility, Cardona and the first lady announced President Joe Biden’s investment in higher education through the American Rescue Plan, […]

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 […]

Video Shows Black Player Forced To Sit Near Banana Peels

MOLINE – A Black football player at a northwest Illinois high school is seen on video sitting down in a locker littered with banana peels after a teammate threatens to break his knees if he doesn’t comply. Moline Police Chief Darren Gault called the incident at Moline High School a “disturbing racist scene.” Detectives interviewed […]

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 […]

Mandatory K-12 Sex Education Bill Advances In House

SPRINGFIELD – An Illinois House committee advanced a bill Wednesday that would mandate all public school districts in the state provide a comprehensive, age-appropriate curriculum on sex education, sexual abuse awareness and healthy relationships for all grades, K-12. Illinois currently has a law that leaves the option of teaching sex education up to the discretion […]

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 […]

Ask The Newsroom: Child Care, Gyms, Restaurants

The Illinois Newsroom team is answering questions to help Illinois residents navigate this unprecedented time. Have a question you want answered? Ask here. Below you’ll find answers to questions about child care, businesses and schools.  Please note: This information is accurate as of Feb. 12, 2021. Child Care and Schooling Q: Is there going to […]

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 […]

Former Urbana Substitute Teacher Accused Of Abusing Students

URBANA – Police in Urbana say a former substitute teacher is accused of abusing several 10-year-old students at an elementary school. In a press release on Tuesday, police identified the suspect as 36-year-old Clarence Walker of Champaign. He is scheduled to be arraigned on charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse on Wednesday. As of late […]

What’s Closed In Illinois Due To The Virus

STATEWIDE Gov. J.B. Pritzker has ordered the state’s residents to remain in their homes except for essential needs, March 21 at 5:00 p.m.-May 31. Starting May 1, there will be major modifications to the plan, click here to read about them. All schools — Gov. JB Pritkzer’s order closing all schools in the state has […]

News Around Illinois – April 18/19, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

Pritzker Orders Illinois Schools Closed For Rest of Semester CHICAGO — Illinois’ governor has ordered schools throughout the state to remain closed for the rest of the semester because of the threat of the coronavirus. J.B. Pritzker announced the action Friday during his daily coronavirus briefing in Chicago, extending school closures past the April 30 […]