District 87 | WGLT

District 87

District 87 offices
Eric Stock / WGLT

Rising costs and a projected drop in revenue are leaving District 87 schools with a projected $2 million deficit for the 2019-20 school year.

Kids do physical activity
Laura Beavers / The Baby Fold

Elementary schools are on the front line whenever a kid has a problem, and not just with homework. Complex family issues, health problems, lack of access to basic necessities—that all comes with them to school and can affect academic performance.

District 87 sign outside Bloomington Junior High School.
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 is giving its paraprofessionals pay raises to get them closer to the $15 per hour they will get under the state's minimum wage law in 2025.

District 87 sign outside Bloomington Junior High School.
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87's sustainability efforts are getting national attention.

crummy sidewalks
City of Bloomington

Students at Sheridan Elementary in Bloomington will soon have a safer route to school thanks to a $200,000 state grant that will fund new sidewalks.

District 87 sign outside Bloomington Junior High School.
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 plans to alter its budget to cover short-term expenses that the district expects to soon recoup and to provide additional cash flexibility.

District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

District 87 is forging ahead with its school calendar and plans to implement alternative learning days, despite possible changes from impending state legislation.

Mark Daniel
Staff / WGLT

School districts increasingly use e-learning days to allow students to complete their schoolwork from home when the weather’s bad.

Derrell Hibbler, Lardarius Caroll and Tiquan Hamer.
Bloomington Police Department

Police have arrested three Bloomington men in connection with a shots fired incident on Tuesday which led to the temporary lockdown of a nearby grade school.

Police Car Lights

Bloomington Police say one person has been taken into custody following a report of a possible armed subject east of downtown on Tuesday afternoon.

Eva Jones
McLean County Museum of History

Nearly a half-century ago, a woman named Eva Jones made history.

District 87 school board members meet
Breanna Grow / WGLT

Bloomington’s District 87 approved new pay rates for substitute teachers, just one week after Unit 5 took similar action.

Lacrosse player makes a move
Warriors / Facebook

Local lacrosse players will have to wait at least another year for a new cooperative team between Unit 5 and District 87 high schools.

District 87
Eric Stock / WGLT

Eastland Mall’s big drop in its property tax bill could wipe out any tax cut that property owners in District 87 might have been getting.

Center for Human Services
Center for Human Services

McLean County has limited access to child psychiatrists. If youths in need are lucky enough to find one, they are often placed on a seemingly endless waitlist. Those who aren’t so lucky are often referred to a doctor outside of the county, and yes, another wait list.

Tim Moore
Eric Stock / WGLT

Bloomington High School is starting a pilot program to help students better connect with their teachers in ways to help them stay on track with their academics.

Prairieland Elementary School
Eric Stock / WGLT

Illinois' new school report card shows three Unit 5 junior high schools and one elementary school are underperforming, while three of the district’s grade schools received high marks.

Barry Reilly
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

District 87 plans to inch its tax levy upward this year, projecting a rosy outlook for property growth in the community.

District 87 sign outside Bloomington Junior High School.
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly said it was eye-opening to see how bad Illinois' teacher shortage is and could become.

District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

District 87's superintendent said the new higher limit on school board member expenses is not directly connected with last year's pricey trip to a conference in Chicago.

School board meeting
Staff / WGLT

District 87's final budget approved Wednesday night shows increased revenue in the education fund due to the state's new evidence-based funding model for K-12 schools.

Oakland Elementary students run around the gym
Eric Stock / WGLT

Students at one Bloomington grade school are getting a healthy start to the day.

doors to a big room opening in the middle of the windowed expanse
Cindy Le / WGLT

Bloomington High School has cut the ribbon for its fine arts wing expansion and renovation.

District 87 School Board
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 school board members were treated at their regular meeting on Wednesday night to a parade of students and educators who came to thank them for completion of two of the biggest renovations Bloomington High School has seen in years.

Rauner and Janus in D.C.
Andrew Harnik / AP

If you’re wondering how teachers unions will survive after the Supreme Court’s Janus decision, consider Bloomington’s District 87 as a test case.

Bloomington Junior HIgh School
Eric Stock / WGLT

Classrooms might not be quite so crowded in Bloomington-Normal public schools this year.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

Bloomington High School (BHS) welcomed this year’s freshman class Monday with a cookout and game day.

Children getting onto a school bus
Staff / WGLT

Editor's note: This is Part 4 of GLT’s Skipping School, a special series about the teacher shortage facing Illinois schools. You can also read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

UPDATED 12:25 p.m. | District 87’s superintendent delivered a pointed message to Bloomington aldermen Tuesday night: Think twice before using property taxes to lure economic development.

Empty desks
djJohn / Flickr via Creative Commons

The state of Illinois will finally begin sending local school districts more than $350 million dollars to equalize school funding.