U of I President: Freeze Tuition At Least 2 More Years

The University of Illinois president told a panel of lawmakers Thursday that he'd like to maintain a freeze on tuition rates.

Culture Shock: Teachers Call Noble Charters 'Dehumanizing'

The trend toward school choice has educators across the country looking at Chicago's Noble Charter Schools — an award-winning network of mostly high schools that specializes in helping inner-city kids achieve the kind of SAT scores that propel them into four-year universities. But despite its prestigious reputation, Noble has a peculiarly high teacher turnover rate.

More Dollars Add Up To Less Trust

Last August, when Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the historic school funding reform plan, the celebration was like the political version of a wedding. Lawmakers from both parties got dressed up, made lovely speeches, and posed for pictures next to that one cousin they never really liked.

'A Lesson For How NOT To Do Bill-Making'

Last week, Gov. Bruce Rauner used his veto authority to make big changes to a small clean-up bill that's necessary to enact school funding reform. Democrats who pushed the reform warned that Rauner's action could derail the bipartisan effort to make school funding more equitable. As it turns out, they're not the only ones upset about it.

Education Board Calls For Swift Action On School Funding

If you've seen Gov. Bruce Rauner's campaign commercials , you might think the school funding issue was settled last summer. But as often happens with complex legislation, it was followed by a " trailer" bill cleaning up some technical language. Rauner decided to use his veto pen on that bill to lower the bar for private schools to qualify for a controversial tax credit program. Now, the Illinois State Board of Education is warning that "time is of the essence" for the General Assembly to uphold

Private Schools Attract $36 Million Via Tax Credit Program

Beginning this week, people and corporations donating up to $1.3 million for private school scholarships can get a 75 percent credit toward their state income tax. This was a controversial but bipartisan concept, adopted last summer to help forge a compromise in a big overhaul of Illinois' school funding plan. Such programs have taken off in other states, but it's off to a slower start here.

What Gift Do College Loan Debtors Want?

If you've got a recent college graduate on your gift list, you might be interested in the results of a survey conducted by the finance firm Lend Edu . They asked people with student loans whether they'd rather get a holiday gift or an equal value payment toward that debt. We decided to take that poll for a tiny test drive with two recent college grads, who gave us plenty of food for thought.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grab Tax Credits

Many of us enjoy a party on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, but for a few wealthy Illinois residents, Jan. 2 will be the day to celebrate. Beginning at 8 a.m., on a first-come, first-served basis, they can reserve a hefty tax credit in return for their donation to a private school.

Peace Rooms and Mindfulness: New School Discipline Philosophy One Year Later

School districts had a year to implement a state law that banned zero-tolerance policies and emphasized restorative justice practices. We check back in with five districts we visited in the summer of 2016 to see how school discipline has changed. On the second day of the school year, Amber Owens got the kind of jolt every parent dreads. She was called to the nurse's office at Champaign's Bottenfield Elementary, where she found her 7-year-old son, Simon, sobbing uncontrollably and bleeding from

Peace Rooms and Mindfulness: New School Discipline Philosophy One Year Later

Student Loan Borrowers Protected By New Illinois Law

Let's say you've got a student loan and you get laid off your job. Your loan servicer suggests something called " forebearance " — the chance to delay payments for a year or two. Sounds tempting, but it ends up costing you more money. That's one of the many tricky facts loan servicers will have to disclose in Illinois, where lawmakers yesterday approved stringent regulations on student loan service companies.

Goodness In Their Bones

Jessica Handy works as a lobbyist for an education advocacy organization called Stand for Children . I've aired interviews with her in the past because she's got a knack for explaining complex numbers. So to her, the most critical part of this story is the numbers. Specifically, some very long odds.

Hackers Attack LA, Boston, And...Crab Orchard?

Derek Hutchins is the superintendent of Crab Orchard Schools. It's a district of only 530 students, east of the town of Marion, in southern Illinois. So he was surprised last week when his tech support guy showed up in his office with big news.

Neediest Schools Still Waiting For New Funding

The debate over school funding dominated much of the legislative session, and concluded with a compromise plan designed to send more state funds to the neediest districts. But so far, those districts haven't gotten any extra funds.

Rauner Campaign Ad Uses Quote About Manar

A television commercial​ now airing for Gov. Bruce Rauner touts the school funding reform legislation he signed into law in August. But the campaign spot is somewhat misleading. The ad begins: "It's been called nothing short of a miracle."

Ed Czar Now Works For Kern Family Foundation

Shortly after Illinois lawmakers approved a new school funding plan, the state's top education official announced she was leaving to work for a national non-profit. Today is her first day on her new job. Beth Purvis has joined the Kern Family Foundation , a Wisconsin-based philanthropy group that has given at least half a million dollars to Gov. Scott Walker and legislative candidates who support school vouchers.

Illinois Issues: The Man With The Education Reform Mission

State Sen. Andy Manar shepherds historic school funding reform through the legislature after years of failed attempts.

How Much Credit Should Rauner Get For School Funding?

Gov. Bruce Rauner took sort of a victory lap visiting a Catholic school, a traditional public school and a charter school to celebrate the Illinois General Assembly's approval of a historic school funding overhaul.

School Funding Plan Now Heads To Gov

The Illinois legislature on Tuesday approved a major, bipartisan overhaul of the way Illinois funds public education. Illinois' current school funding formula dates back to 1997. And efforts to replace it with something more logical, more fair, and more equitable? To hear lawmakers tell it, those also date back almost 20 years.

Compromise School Funding Plan Passes House

It took three different votes, but Illinois may finally be getting the new school funding formula lawmakers have been working on for the past few years. The state House of Representatives yesterday approved a new evidence-based school funding plan. It's a compromise, containing most of the plan Democrats proposed months ago, plus a new $75 million program that would provide tax credits to organizations offering private school scholarships. Teachers unions criticized that provision. But

Rauner's School Doesn't Like His Veto

Schools across Illinois are still waiting for state money while legislative leaders try to agree on a new funding formula. Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed large portions of a Democrat-sponsored plan, saying it was too generous to Chicago Public Schools. The list of educators lobbying for lawmakers to override that veto includes some surprising names.