Downstate schools would be the primary winners under a proposed school funding overhaul before the General Assembly. A report from Illinois' board of education could lead to a regional divide when it comes up for a vote.
Illinois' public school system relies heavily on property taxes, often meaning the quality of a student's education will depend on his or her zip code.
But a proposal in the General Assembly would completely change the state's complicated funding formula.
State education officials are considering retaining a traditional college-readiness test for high school juniors but passing the cost along to school districts and possibly the students' families.
The move is one cost-cutting possibility after Illinois schools have seen close to $1 billion in cuts since 2009. Educators warn of more drastic cuts if lawmakers decide not to extend a temporary income tax hike set to expire at the end of 2014.
State board officials estimate it will cost $14 million for all high school
All four of the Republican candidates for governor have said they will make education funding a priority if elected, but they face an uphill battle finding the money to send to schools. Each of the contenders has an unique solution for fixing education funding in Illinois.
First, some background: Illinois is ranked last in the nation when it comes to how much the state kicks in to public education.
A new report has found that Illinois high school graduates are slightly above the national average for Advanced Placement exam scores.
According to a Advanced Placement Program report released Tuesday, 21 percent of 2013 graduates received an AP exam score high enough for college credit. The national average is 20 percent. Scores of three or more out of five are generally eligible for college credit.
Illinois schools have seen state funding cut again and again in recent years. A Democratic lawmaker wants to change how that money is distributed. But it remains to be whether they can get more money in the system.
State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) says inequality is basically guaranteed by Illinois' complicated education funding laws. That's because it's based on property taxes, so schools in impoverished areas can struggle to get by.
The Illinois State Board of Education has redrawn the map of regional education offices to meet a deadline set by the Legislature.
The board voted Friday after hearing from regional superintendents who objected to the way the map would consolidate their offices.
A new state law required the board to cut the number of regions from 44 to 35. New regional superintendents will be elected next year to lead the new offices. Sangamon County regional superintendent Jeff Vose was among the school leaders who spoke Friday.
Illinois schools and school districts get report cards Thursday. Many will appear to have suffered a significant drop in student achievement. But state officials say that’s just because they’ve changed how students are evaluated.
School administrators in Illinois are being warned to prepare for even less state funding for the next fiscal year. The Springfield Bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports (http://bit.ly/16g1Hjd ) the Illinois State Board of Education is telling school districts to prepare to receive about 85 percent of the normal general state aid payments. This year, the qualifying districts are getting 89 percent of the money.
Nearly all the students at south suburban Roosevelt Elementary School in Riverdale, IL, are African American. Principal Shalonda Randle says she’s made deliberate efforts to hire more teachers of color because her students identify with their success.
Across the nation, states are considering ways to make teaching a more selective profession. The push for “higher aptitude” teachers has often come from the nation’s top education officials. “In Finland it’s the top ten percent of college grads (who) are going into education,” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said to an audience of educators in Massachusetts last year. “Ninety percent don’t have that opportunity.”
District 186 students might be on break, but many are still showing up at schools. Six different schools offer free meals to students during the summer months. In this story we take you to Butler Elementary, where lunch is being served:
Outside of the elementary school, right off of MacArthur Boulevard, kids are swinging, climbing equipment, and bouncing balls — but this isn't recess. They are waiting to be fed.