school districts

The state's education chief says that the $350 million boost promised to public schools this year will be distributed beginning in April. 

The state's education agency wants to hire a "storyteller" to relay "amazing" stories from Illinois' public schools while lawmakers are still trying properly fund them. 

Local school superintendents are telling an Illinois House panel that the changes Gov. Bruce Rauner made to school-funding legislation will hurt their school districts. 

Local school districts would have to pay pension costs for all newly-hired teachers if the General Assembly upholds Governor Bruce Rauner's rewrite of the school funding plan known as Senate Bill One.

Ever since SB1 was approved on votes mainly cast by Democrats, Rauner has promised to rewrite portions that he deemed too generous to Chicago Public Schools. When he issued his amendatory veto last week, it turned out his changes went far beyond CPS.

Flickr Creative Commons/Alan Cleaver

The Illinois Senate has approved a two-year property tax freeze.  Democratic Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago pushed two property-tax freezes measures through the Senate. 

Lawmakers of both parties, and even Gov. Bruce Rauner, agree that Illinois doesn't fund schools in an equitable manner. But with the legislative session scheduled to end on May 31, they still can't agree on exactly how to fix it.


One plan earned bipartisan approval in a House committee today, clearing a procedural hurdle that positions it for possible speedy passage.


Some Illinois school districts are revamping their summer school programs this year with virtual programs designed to allow students to complete lessons outside of the classroom.  But some education experts worry that online learning programs aren't the best approach for younger students. 

Yet another plan to address the state’s lopsided school funding structure has been filed. This measure would freeze funding at current levels for all districts including Chicago Public Schools.  When new revenue becomes available, it would be handed out based on each district’s demographics and needs, giving more to districts struggling financially. 

Beth Purvis serves as Gov. Bruce Rauner's Secretary of Education, and she headed the 25-member commission he tasked with finding a way to make Illinois' school funding more equitable. After six months of meetings, the bipartisan panel adjourned yesterday releasing a report meant to guide lawmakers toward drafting a reform measure. Shortly after that final meeting, Purvis talked to me about the novel test she used with the commission, and why the panel stopped short of endorsing a specific plan.

The continuing budget impasse has left schools facing the possibility of starting the next school year without any state funds. Governor Bruce Rauner is pushing a plan that would give every district at least the same amount it received last year, but some districts superintendents don't like that idea.  

If there’s one thing Illinois lawmakers agree on, it’s that they want schools to open on time in the fall. Yet the Illinois legislature adjourned last week with no school budget in place. That’s because when you ask lawmakers how to pay the teachers and principals and utility bills, they will bicker about it all session long. Their disagreement has left educators across the state saying W-T-F. And you know what that stands for... 

Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed increased funding for elementary and secondary schools.  But Democrats don't want to add money to a formula they say is fundamentally inequitable. Instead, they're proposing a new way to calculate how much state aid flows to each school district.

Twenty years ago, Illinois adopted a school funding plan that relies heavily on local property taxes, leaving areas with low property values at the mercy of state aid. And for the past seven years, the state has failed to send those schools the full amount of aid promised under that plan.

A budget request from the Illinois State Board of Education would increase state funding to most school districts.  Only the wealthiest districts would see a decrease, and it would be less than 1%. 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner wants to reduce the number of local governments in the state.    One of Rauner’s first acts as governor was to form a new committee.  Its mission: to consolidate the number of governments since Illinois has more than any other state.  Those governments include townships, school districts, and fire districts.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's task force on shrinking the number of Illinois government offices and eliminating some unfunded mandates has unanimously approved its recommendations.

More than 30 school officials from across the state traveled to Springfield today to tell how budget cuts are affecting their districts.

About 600 school districts will benefit from $97 million that the Illinois State Board of Education has approved for those with the greatest funding needs.

Cyberbullying law gives schools more authority

Mar 31, 2015
Peoria Public Radio

Illinois school districts have been working to update policies after a new state law on cyberbullying took effect in January.  

Illinois ranks near the bottom when it comes to school funding equity.  Huge disparities between school districts exist in the state.  Legislation to address that stalled last session. Lawmakers are planning to try again.  IPR’s Dusty Rhodes has more.

The school districts in the City of Washington are evaluating the property tax horizon as the community is rebuilding from the EF-4 Tornado last November.

The school boards heard some of their options last night. The School Boards of Elementary and Middle School Districts 50, 51 and 52 met with the Board of the High School District 308.

At stake is determining the districts’ tax levies after the community lost about $8-million of its assessed value in the November 17th tornado last year.

New proposal would make income tax increase permanent

Feb 20, 2013

The Illinois income tax increase would be made permanent in the latest proposal to fix the state's underfunded pension systems. The increase, from 3 percent to 5 percent, was set to begin easing back in 2014.

But Representative Lou Lang, a Democrat from Skokie, says the state can't afford that. He says Illinois taxpayers didn't create the pension problem, but it's a problem they're stuck with.