The Peoria Public School Board has selected a final candidate to fill a vacant seat in the Third District. The District 150 board reached a consensus after deliberating more than two hours Wednesday night. 

Republican Bruce Rauner and education policy

Jul 30, 2014

The Republican candidate for Illinois governor says he’ll soon be talking more about his top priority - education. Bruce Rauner has been involved in education for years, giving lots of money to schools and programs he believes in. But expanding his vision in Illinois’ political climate is another matter altogether. Illinois Public Radio's Tony Arnold explains. 

Bruce Rauner, the Republican venture capitalist, has made a name for himself in education - literally. Rauner College Prep is a charter school on Chicago’s near west side. He’s been recognized by education groups for his philanthropic work…

District 150 aims to expand sex education curriculum

Jul 22, 2014

District 150 is also working to expand it’s sexual education programs starting this fall. A grant from the State Board of Education will help the district implement a five-year plan to add programs that focus on contraception. District 150 Special Education Director Maureen Langholf says the program aims to work with area health departments and community groups to promote safe sex:

Educator bringing hip hop music to science class

Jul 16, 2014
Sean Powers / Illinois Public Radio/WILL

Imagine being in a science class and getting bombarded with complicated terms and phrases. It can be daunting for people of color who are underrepresented in the sciences. But there’s a push in academia to change that through hip hop.    

The Illinois State Board of Education says it found no evidence that a District 150 primary school manipulated test scores. However, a letter sent from the ISBE to the district says it’s forwarding its report to its Licensure Division for further review. 

Illinois schools brace in budget process

May 8, 2014

Spring is budgeting time for schools in Illinois. Over the past few years, school officials in poorer districts have had to cut staff and programs in order to balance their checkbooks. 

Peoria students compete in Special Olympics

May 7, 2014

District 150 students with special needs competed in wheelchair races, running and shot-put events. It’s part of the second annual Special Olympics Spring Games for the district. Jill Speer is the Heartland Area director for Special Olympics. She says the students spend significant time training for the event:

Area law enforcement: boost early childhood education

Apr 23, 2014

Area law enforcement officials are calling on the state to boost its funding for early childhood education.  Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy, State’s Attorney Jerry Brady and other police chiefs worked with the ‘Fight Crime, Invest In Kids’ group to release a report detailing the need for more funding.  McCoy says more child care assistance money could help keep people out of jail in the future:

District 150 would see $5.4M cut in state budget scenario

Apr 16, 2014

New data 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.  That would mean a 10-percent cut in state funding for District 150:

A state push for more early childhood education

Apr 15, 2014

As Illinois navigated the economic downturn, lawmakers made lots of cuts including to early childhood education.  

IL Senate advances education funding overhaul

Apr 10, 2014

Republicans in the Illinois Senate say a school funding overhaul is being rushed through the General Assembly.

Lawmakers debate Illinois ‘coal’ education

Apr 3, 2014

Illinois law requires school children be taught the benefits of the state's coal industry. The Illinois House spent the better part of an hour yesterday Thursday debating whether that ought to continue.

State lawmakers debate education funding

Apr 2, 2014

Legislators are beginning to debate how much money the state will put toward education. First, though, a group of legislators say Illinois needs to fix how it parcels out that money to individual districts. 

District 150 School Board incumbent Laura Petelle was unseated in yesterday’s election.  69-percent of voters voted for Sue Wolstenholm, who was backed by the grassroots ‘Change 150’ group. The organization aims to change the culture and leadership in the district. Change 150 spokesman Sea Stipe says the vote reflects community support:

State cuts look grim for school districts

Mar 11, 2014

The state superintendent says some districts won't be able to make it through next school year if lawmakers further cut school spending.

District 150 tensions take different direction Monday

Feb 24, 2014

The controversy surrounding the former Charter Oak principal and testing scores in District 150 took a slightly different turn at last night’s School Board meeting. Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports:

U of I Urbana officials weigh in on Chicago strike

Feb 19, 2014

A 2-day strike by faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago isn’t deterring the efforts of some at the school’s flagship campus to unionize:

Illinois' public colleges and universities are making an austere budget request to the state. The Board of Higher Education will ask to keep level funding for the coming fiscal year. Harry Berman is the interim Executive Director. He says it's less than what is needed:

University of Illinois President Robert Easter and Trustees Chair Chris Kennedy have weighed in on this week’s verbal abuse on social media against the Urbana campus chancellor.  

U of I chancellor target of social media attacks

Jan 27, 2014

The University of Illinois’ Urbana chancellor became the target of social media attacks late Sunday and Monday morning over her decision to keep the campus open despite the cold weather.  

Illinois’ Board of Education is asking the General Assembly for a billion dollar increase in the new state budget. This comes even as the state’s already projected to lose at least double that.

State funding for colleges and universities appears to be rebounding across the nation. Illinois State University Professor Jim Palmer says his annual survey shows state legislatures spent nearly 6% more on higher education last year. Palmer says these funding swings tend to track recessions and the economy fairly closely:

Alex Rusciano / Illinois Public Radio

Peoria School District 150 says special education teachers at a primary school violated state testing rules the last three years.  Alex Rusciano (ruu-shee-AH-noh) reports the school’s principal also allegedly failed to report spikes in the Illinois Standards Achievement Test scores: Those are the main conclusions from an internal investigation the district sent to the Illinois State Board of Education last week.  The report says 26 special education students from Charter Oak Primary School got inappropriate help from teachers giving the math and reading exams.  District Attorney Michelle Todd says the help violated I-SAT protocol:

The Illinois State Board of Education is waiting on District 150 to send a formal report about potential cheating at Charter Oak Primary School. The District says it discovered quote, ‘potential ‘irregularities’ with the way the Illinois Standard Achievement Test, or I-SAT, exams were given to the 3rd and 4th grade special-education students at the School. Mary Fergus is a spokeswoman with the state board of education. She says they have investigated cases with test scores in the past:

Astronaut speaks from space to U of I students

Oct 29, 2013
Sean Powers/ Illinois Public Radio

A NASA astronaut who graduated from the University of Illinois spoke to U of I students Tuesday from orbit. IPR’s Sean Powers reports:

District 150 is using a program to better track its high-school students after graduation.  The School Board approved using the National Student Clearinghouse tracking service.  District 150 spokesman Chris Coplan says the program allows the district to track whether its graduates went to a two or four-year college:

Report: IL prison youth education in violation, inadequate

Sep 23, 2013
WBEZ/Chicago Public Radio

The education Illinois kids get in youth prisons is grossly inadequate, and in violation of state and federal laws and regulations.  That’s according to a new report that can’t simply be put on a shelf.  IPR’s Robert Wildeboer has more:  

Central Illinois students and education changes

Aug 19, 2013

As central Illinois children get ready to head back to school, the environment they find in their classrooms continues to change. IPR's Charlie Schlenker reports on the ongoing implementation of new learning standards:

Security changes at District 150

Aug 13, 2013

District 150 is preparing for safety changes this coming academic year.  New state law requires the district to hold an annual drill in the event of a school-shooting incident, including participation from law enforcement.  

"Science Rocks!" at Peoria Riverfront Museum

Aug 2, 2013

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is opening free to the public Saturday. Peoria County is hosting the event promoting scientific history in Peoria. “Science Rocks!” includes free admission to all museum galleries and the planetarium.