News http://wuis.org en Illinois Finally Gets 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver http://wuis.org/post/illinois-finally-gets-no-child-left-behind-waiver <p>After more than two years of trying, Illinois has finally won a waiver from the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind. Brian Mackey reports on what this means for schools in Illinois.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>The short answer is not much.</p><p>Illinois has already been moving beyond the No Child Left Behind law for some time, even as it waited for permission from the federal government.</p><p>Matt Vanover, a spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Education, says there were problems with No Child Left Behind.</p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 22:06:08 +0000 Brian Mackey 23320 at http://wuis.org Illinois Finally Gets 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver U Of I: Illinois Pension Overhaul Had Costly Mistake http://wuis.org/post/u-i-illinois-pension-overhaul-had-costly-mistake <p>University of Illinois officials have worried for months that state pension reforms will push employees to retire early. But they say language inadvertently placed in pension law may provide even stronger<br />incentive.<br />&nbsp;<br />Avijit Ghosh is a senior adviser to university President Robert Easter. He said at a trustees' meeting Friday that the pension law passed last year would effectively take away a year of pension benefits from about 4,000 University of Illinois employees if they don't retire before July 1. Those pensions would be reduced by up to 35 percent.<br />&nbsp; Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:38:47 +0000 Associated Press 23306 at http://wuis.org U Of I: Illinois Pension Overhaul Had Costly Mistake Listen To State Week - April 18, 2014 http://wuis.org/post/listen-state-week-april-18-2014 <p></p><p>This week, the legislature works to bring the proposed Barack Obama presidential library and museum to Chicago, more information on corruption charges leveled against lawmaker Derrick Smith, and the debate over charter schools currently taking place at the Statehouse.</p><p></p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:30:05 +0000 Bob Meyer 23287 at http://wuis.org Listen To State Week - April 18, 2014 Employment Improves, But Illinois Still Lags U.S. http://wuis.org/post/employment-improves-illinois-still-lags-us <p>The latest state job numbers are out and the news for Illinois is mixed. The unemployment rate is down. But fewer people were hired than expected, and Illinois still lags the nation.</p><p>Illinois' March unemployment rate is 8.4 percent. That's the best it's been in more than five years, but it's still among the worst rates in the country.</p><p>On top of that, officials blame the unseasonably cold weather for the fact that fewer jobs were added in March than in the previous month.</p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:00:50 +0000 Brian Mackey 23245 at http://wuis.org Employment Improves, But Illinois Still Lags U.S. Murray Center Advocates Win Appeals Decision http://wuis.org/post/murray-center-advocates-win-appeals-decision <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Residents fighting to stay in Centralia's Murray Developmental Center can remain where they are ... for now. An appellate court decision blocks the state from moving people out without the permission of a court-appointed guardian.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The ruling gives Murray Center families reason to hope for a favorable outcome in another case — one trying to block </span>Gov<span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Pat Quinn's efforts to close the institution.</span></p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:19:32 +0000 Hannah Meisel 23270 at http://wuis.org Murray Center Advocates Win Appeals Decision Interview: John Tinker & The Landmark Case On Students' Right To Free Speech http://wuis.org/post/interview-john-tinker-landmark-case-students-right-free-speech <p></p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:46:13 +0000 Rachel Otwell 23194 at http://wuis.org Interview: John Tinker & The Landmark Case On Students' Right To Free Speech State Legislation Hints At Marijuana Legalization http://wuis.org/post/state-legislation-hints-marijuana-legalization <p>Last year, Illinois approved medical use of marijuana after years of debating the issue.&nbsp;&nbsp; But could Illinois be closer to following the lead of some other states that have given the o-k to recreational use?&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lee Strubinger 23009 at http://wuis.org State Legislation Hints At Marijuana Legalization Plan Threatens Proposed Downstate Casinos http://wuis.org/post/plan-threatens-proposed-downstate-casinos <p>A group of Illinois lawmakers considered two different plans to expand gambling Wednesday. One tracks other recent proposals to add five casinos across Illinois; the other focuses on Chicago.</p><p>Every expansion of gambling in Illinois has required a delicate balance of competing geographic and businesses interests.</p><p>That's why plans in recent years have called for slot machines at horse racetracks, and five new casinos: in Chicago, the south suburbs, Lake County, Rockford, and Danville.</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:00:50 +0000 Brian Mackey 23169 at http://wuis.org Plan Threatens Proposed Downstate Casinos How Much Would Your School District Lose? http://wuis.org/post/how-much-would-your-school-district-lose <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;<a href="http://www.isbe.net/budget/FY15/fy15-budget.htm">&nbsp;</a></span><a href="http://www.isbe.net/budget/FY15/fy15-budget.htm">New data</a> suggests just how big a hit most school districts would take if Illinois' income tax rate rolls back as scheduled at the end of the year.</p><p></p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:44:00 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 23168 at http://wuis.org How Much Would Your School District Lose? Unmet Needs: Living With Mental Illness In Central Illinois http://wuis.org/post/unmet-needs-living-mental-illness-central-illinois <p><span itemprop="articleBody">According to federal labor statistics, there are more psychiatrists working in Illinois than most states, with the bulk of that service concentrated in the Chicagoland area. But mental health providers say there are major gaps in service across Illinois, especially downstate.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span itemprop="articleBody">Zach Medlyn, 27, of Champaign did not start hearing the voices until about seven years ago, when he was a student at the University of Illinois.</span></p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:07:45 +0000 Sean Powers 23165 at http://wuis.org Unmet Needs: Living With Mental Illness In Central Illinois Study: Pre-K Education Provides For Economic Growth http://wuis.org/post/study-pre-k-education-provides-economic-growth <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>As Illinois navigated the economic downturn, lawmakers made lots of cuts -- including to early childhood education.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Advocates say over the years, that cut off 25,000 kids from access to preschool.</span></p><p>Business leaders say it's time to restore the funding, in the name of economic efficacy later on.</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 19:22:36 +0000 Hannah Meisel 23132 at http://wuis.org Study: Pre-K Education Provides For Economic Growth Quinn, Rauner Announce Campaign Donations http://wuis.org/post/quinn-rauner-announce-campaign-donations <p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican gubernatorial challenger Bruce Rauner have filed their latest campaign reports with the state. &nbsp;</p><p>Rauner on Tuesday announced he raised more than $9 million in the first three months of the year. &nbsp;<br />Quinn says he raised $5 million in the first quarter, much of it from labor unions. He spent little of it defeat a little-known challenger in last month's Democratic primary.&nbsp; Quinn finished the quarter with $8.8 million in his campaign fund. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:46:45 +0000 Associated Press 23119 at http://wuis.org Quinn, Rauner Announce Campaign Donations The Vanishing Millionaire Tax http://wuis.org/post/vanishing-millionaire-tax <p>House Speaker Michael Madigan pulled his plan for a so-called "millionaire tax" last week.&nbsp;&nbsp; The plan would have raised taxes on those earning $1 million or more a year, with the proceeds going to schools.&nbsp; It would have required a constitutional change.&nbsp;</p><p>Professor Brian Gaines has studied the idea.&nbsp; He's with the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois.&nbsp; He called Madigan's change of heart a bit surprising:</p><p><strong>Brian Gaines' essay on the "millionaire tax"</strong> -</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:04:43 +0000 Sean Crawford 23116 at http://wuis.org The Vanishing Millionaire Tax City Approves More Video Gaming Despite Upcoming Ordinance http://wuis.org/post/city-approves-more-video-gaming-despite-upcoming-ordinance <p>Despite concerns over gambling parlors cutting into the bottom line of local bars and restaurants, the Springfield City Council last night approved zoning changes to allow more of the establishments to open shop. &nbsp;Aldermen Cory Jobe voted in favor, even though he's pushing an ordinance to require video gambling only at places that earn 60 percent or more of revenue from food and beverage sales.&nbsp;</p><p>Jobe says the city is skirting the spirit of the law. &nbsp;But he says there’s no conflict in his vote.</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 04:22:21 +0000 Lee Strubinger 23093 at http://wuis.org City Approves More Video Gaming Despite Upcoming Ordinance Rutherford: Dismiss Sexual Harassment Lawsuit http://wuis.org/post/rutherford-dismiss-sexual-harassment-lawsuit <p>Lawyers for Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by an ex-employee alleging sexual harassment and forced political work on state time. &nbsp;</p><p>The motion in U.S. District Court in Chicago seeks to end the lawsuit by Edmund Michalowski.<br />Michalowski worked for the former Republican candidate for governor for three years before leaving in January and filing the lawsuit. &nbsp;</p><p>The document contends Michalowski's claims that he was disciplined for not doing campaign work on state time are not plausible. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:37:45 +0000 Associated Press 23088 at http://wuis.org Rutherford: Dismiss Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Durbin Calls For A Return of 'Earmarks' http://wuis.org/post/durbin-calls-return-earmarks <p>It's been a few years since Congressional "earmarks" were eliminated from federal transportation spending. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says it's time to bring them back.</p><p>Earmarks have a bad name — remember the "bridge to nowhere," a plan to spend nearly $400 million on a bridge to an island in Alaska with 50 residents?</p><p>Durbin says earmarks should have been reformed, not eliminated. He says legislators are in touch with the transportation needs of their districts and states.</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:43:28 +0000 Brian Mackey 23069 at http://wuis.org Durbin Calls For A Return of 'Earmarks' Gas Station Owners Warn Against Fuel Tax Increase http://wuis.org/post/gas-station-owners-warn-against-fuel-tax-increase <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>A coalition of Illinois gas station owners say they're wary of a plan to increase motor fuel taxes. Opponents say it would cause too much pain at the pump.</p><p></p><p>Engineers, the state Chamber of Commerce, and local mass transit agencies have a strategy to shore up the state's deteriorating highway network and other infrastructure needs: a strategy that includes raising Illinois' tax on gas, which hasn't seen an increase in 24 years.</p><p>For now, it's just a plan; no state lawmaker has committed to supporting that proposal.</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:49:27 +0000 Hannah Meisel 23057 at http://wuis.org Gas Station Owners Warn Against Fuel Tax Increase Quinn, Rauner At IEA Conference - Full Audio http://wuis.org/post/quinn-rauner-iea-conference-full-audio <p>Republican Bruce Rauner and Democratic Governor Pat Quinn made their first joint appearance of the campaign when they took the stage Friday at an Illinois Education Association meeting in Chicago. More than 1,000 people were in attendance.&nbsp;</p><p>The two answered questions and also took political jabs at one another.&nbsp;IEA President Cinda Klickna moderated the question and answer session.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p></p><p></p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:08:41 +0000 Sean Crawford 23044 at http://wuis.org Quinn, Rauner At IEA Conference - Full Audio Steely Dan To Play State Fair Grandstand http://wuis.org/post/steely-dan-play-state-fair-grandstand <p>Grammy Award-winning rock band Steely Dan will play this year's Illinois State Fair. &nbsp;</p><p>State officials made the announcement on Monday afternoon. They say the band will play its ``Jamalot Ever After'' tour at the fair on Aug. 15. Steely Dan had a string of hits during the 1970's. They won a Grammy in 2000 for Album of the Year. &nbsp;</p><p>Tickets will go on sale for the show May 3.</p><p>The fair runs from Aug. 7 to 17 in Springfield. Other acts this year include country singers Jake Owen and Hunter Hayes, Florida Georgia Line and Boston.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:11:12 +0000 Associated Press 23010 at http://wuis.org Steely Dan To Play State Fair Grandstand Illinois Senate Joins Push For U.S. Constitutional Convention http://wuis.org/post/illinois-senate-joins-push-us-constitutional-convention <p>The Illinois Senate has joined a push for a national constitutional convention. <a href="http://www.wolf-pac.com/">Organizers</a> want to change the way political campaigns are financed.</p><p>The last time there was a Constitutional Convention, it was presided over by George Washington.</p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Brian Mackey 23158 at http://wuis.org Illinois Senate Joins Push For U.S. Constitutional Convention "Making Sense Of Obamacare" Lecture At UIS http://wuis.org/post/making-sense-obamacare-lecture-uis <p>Ted Marmor has studied the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.&nbsp; The author and Professor Emeritus at Yale sees both good and bad with the new law.</p><p>"My overall view is simple. That it's a very confusing piece of legislation, not very well explained," he said.</p><p>"It perpetuates the cost and complexity of American medical care. But it makes some improvement in the availability of health insurance and the protection of some Americans from being devastated by expensive hospital stays and expensive pharmaceutical treatment."</p><p></p><p></p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 10:40:00 +0000 Sean Crawford 22853 at http://wuis.org "Making Sense Of Obamacare" Lecture At UIS The Impact of Education on the Local Economy http://wuis.org/post/impact-education-local-economy <p>Join WUIS in an important community conversation at the first&nbsp;</p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">A WUIS ENGAGE BREAKFAST</strong><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">May 2, 2014, 8-9:30 a.m.</span><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Hoogland Center for the Arts - </span>Theatre<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;III</span><br /><strong style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://bit.ly/1p6JvkI" target="_blank">TICKETS $25* BUY NOW!</a></strong></p> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 17:48:38 +0000 Randy Eccles 22937 at http://wuis.org The Impact of Education on the Local Economy The Return of the Mug http://wuis.org/post/return-mug <div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The spring 2014 drive marks the return of the mug! &nbsp;</span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://wuis.org/invest-now-0">Increase your Calendar Club monthly commitment by $5+ or start one or make a $60+ single gift&nbsp;</a></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">and you'll be sent the new mug.</span></div><div><p></p> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 16:16:42 +0000 Randy Eccles 22935 at http://wuis.org The Return of the Mug Quinn, Rauner Make First Joint Appearance http://wuis.org/post/quinn-rauner-make-first-joint-appearance <p>Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner have attacked one another for their record and positions on education.&nbsp;&nbsp; Quinn and Rauner met for the first time Friday in the 2014 campaign for<br />Illinois governor. They discussing education policy before members of the<br />Illinois Education Association in Chicago.<br />&nbsp;<br />Quinn is a Chicago Democrat seeking his second full term as governor. He says<br />Rauner is ``the biggest threat to public education in the state of Illinois.''<br />&nbsp; Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:16:59 +0000 Associated Press 22858 at http://wuis.org Quinn, Rauner Make First Joint Appearance Church Agrees To Find Successor For Chicago Cardinal George http://wuis.org/post/church-agrees-find-successor-chicago-cardinal-george <p>Chicago's archbishop says the Roman Catholic Church has told him it will begin searching for his successor because of his ``uncertain'' health as<br />he undergoes chemotherapy.<br />&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;Cardinal Francis George spoke Friday about upcoming canonizations of two popes<br />and his health, almost a month after being hospitalized for flu-like symptoms and dehydration.<br />&nbsp;<br />He says lengthy, formal process has not begun, but will start soon.<br />&nbsp; Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:13:04 +0000 Associated Press 22857 at http://wuis.org Church Agrees To Find Successor For Chicago Cardinal George Listen To State Week - April 11, 2014 http://wuis.org/post/listen-state-week-april-11-2014 <p></p><p>This week, a discussion of a pair of constitutional amendments on the ballot this fall, the city of Chicago gets a pension overhaul, and Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner deals with an unwelcome endorsement.</p><p></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 19:47:57 +0000 Bob Meyer 22836 at http://wuis.org Listen To State Week - April 11, 2014 Manar's School Funding Change Moving Forward http://wuis.org/post/manars-school-funding-change-moving-forward <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>A proposal to overhaul the way Illinois schools get state funding is advancing in the state Senate. But Republicans are worried that under a new formula, Chicago schools will get an even bigger share of the money than they do now.</p><p></p><p>Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) has made it his mission to change the way schools are funded in Illinois. The freshman senator says it's long overdue; there's been no change in 17 years.</p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:33:45 +0000 Hannah Meisel 22810 at http://wuis.org Manar's School Funding Change Moving Forward Charter Schools: What Does The Future Hold? http://wuis.org/post/charter-schools-what-does-future-hold <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Charter schools have long been a divisive issue. Supporters say they allow schools to teach kids free of burdensome regulations.&nbsp; Opponents say they take money away from traditional schools.&nbsp; In Illinois this year, those views are colliding.&nbsp; In the final installment of our series, we find out</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;about the fight at the statehouse and what it might mean for charters:</span></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 11:57:49 +0000 Rachel Otwell 22798 at http://wuis.org Charter Schools: What Does The Future Hold? UIC Faculty Authorizes Second Strike http://wuis.org/post/uic-faculty-authorizes-second-strike <p></p><p>The faculty union at the University of Illinois-Chicago says its members have voted to go ahead with a second strike if negotiations with the university fail to yield an agreement.</p><p>The University of Illinois at Chicago United Faculty said in a news release that its members voted Wednesday night to authorize a strike on April 23. The union staged a two-day strike in February. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:34:19 +0000 Sean Crawford 22758 at http://wuis.org UIC Faculty Authorizes Second Strike Chapa LaVia's Perceived Slight Overshadows Charter Debate http://wuis.org/post/chapa-lavias-perceived-slight-overshadows-charter-debate <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>An Illinois lawmaker is apologizing for a racially charged remark she made Wednesday during a debate on charter schools.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Rep. Linda </span>Chapa<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>LaVia<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> (D-Aurora) was closing a long debate over charter schools. But just as she argued minority students sometimes get blocked from charters, she seemed to get frustrated with the noise in the chamber, and turned to address her fellow Democrats.</span></p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:08:15 +0000 Hannah Meisel 22686 at http://wuis.org Chapa LaVia's Perceived Slight Overshadows Charter Debate