Education and Family | WGLT

Education and Family

Unit 5 school board candidates
Mary Cullen / WGLT

With six of seven Unit 5 school board seats up for election this year, there are four current members guaranteed to remain seated.

Fight for $15 rally
M. Spencer Green / AP

Two big things are on the horizon for Illinois' child care system.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

Illinois schools rely on at least 68 percent of funding from property tax dollars, according to the state board of education. And the lion's share of property taxes feed into local schools.

Richard Vogel / AP Photo

Illinois’ new governor JB Pritzker has said he wants to legalize, tax, and regulate the sale of recreational marijuana. That move would complicate life for University leaders around Illinois and in Bloomington-Normal.

Heartland building exterior
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

Heartland Community College is considering a possible tuition and fees increase starting next fall.

Unit 5 Superintendent Mark Daniel
Staff / WGLT

The Unit 5 Teachers Union voiced frustrations about a consistent lack of follow through by the school board.

At a recent school board meeting, Unit 5 Education Association President Lindsey Dickinson said the board has yet to correct a series of issues after multiple complaints from the teachers union.

She noted frequently unanswered questions, unfulfilled requests, and little to no follow through on concerns.

District Superintendent Mark Daniel said those concerns are being addressed internally.

Education officials pose at museum
Mary Cullen / WGLT

The National Science Foundation awarded a combined $4.6 million grant to Heartland Community College, Illinois State, and Illinois Wesleyan universities to bolster STEM studies.

Access to high-speed internet stops about seven miles east of both Nippersink School District 2 and Richmond-Burton Community High School District 157, according to Tom Lind. He’s the superintendent of both districts, located near the border of Wisconsin —  about 70 miles northwest of Chicago.

What test should school teachers have to pass to earn a license in Illinois? The Illinois State Board of Education takes up that question at their meeting Wednesday.

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.

Northern Illinois University will be the fourth research hub for the Illinois Innovation Network.

This hub will be part of a research network that spans three University of Illinois campuses, each focused on different subjects.  Gov Bruce Rauner says the state’s already budgeted $15 million for NIU’s center, and NIU President Lisa Freeman says the center will focus on issues of sustainability.  

"Environmental sustainability, water and food policy, water and food shortages," she said. 

Gov. Rauner said this could lead to significant innovation.

Eric Lichtenberger
NPR ILLINOIS 91.9 UIS

lllinois has historically ranked second in the nation when it comes to high school graduates leaving the state to go to college. But there's good news for a certain set of students who opt to stay.

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.

Promise Council logo
Promise Council / Facebook

The Promise Council is one of 40 organizations receiving a $25,000 grant from State Farm Neighborhood Assist.

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.

Audrey Stickrod / Heartland Community College

For the first time, Heartland Community College is seeing a deficit in its operating budget.

Oakland Elementary students run around the gym
Eric Stock / WGLT

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

Like most states, Illinois is struggling with a severe teacher shortage. And, also like most states, that shortage is felt most profoundly in the area of special education. There is, however, an army of teacher assistants already on the job. Could they help relieve this shortage?

Ben Luginbuhl poses in his classroom
Mary Cullen / WGLT

A music and choir teacher from Unit 5 is one of 10 nominated to be the 2019 Illinois Teacher of the Year.

Illinois government wants to keep kids from leaving the state for college. Its latest effort is a website and app that allows students and their parents to compare in-state schools.

ISU students on a sidewalk
Cindy Le / WGLT

Illinois State University’s freshman class grew by 10 percent this fall as recruiters fought off out-of-state competition and uncertainty about the state budget.

Mark Daniel
Staff / WGLT

Unit 5 Superintendent Mark Daniel said the district has about a year and a half until a referendum becomes necessary to maintain the current quality of education.

Illinois Commitment logo
University of Illinois

The University of Illinois on Monday announced a new financial aid program designed to make enrollment at its Urbana-Champaign campus more affordable for middle-class students.

Teacher speaks to school board
Mary Cullen / WGLT

A veteran Unit 5 substitute teacher said the district doesn’t pay in a timely manner, let alone enough for the job.

Heartland and Exelon leaders sign partnership
Steve Fast / Heartland Community College

A new partnership between Heartland Community College and Exelon gives employees at the Clinton Power Station customized courses towards an associate’s degree.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

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

DJJOHN / FLICKR VIA CREATIVE COMMONS

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

Staff / WGLT

A recent study co-authored by an Illinois State University professor finds that college-aged adults who were helicopter parented are less likely to get involved in politics than their non-helicopter parented counterparts.

Derek sits in his office at Fell Hall
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Editor’s note: This is Part 1 of GLT’s Skipping School, a special series about the teacher shortage facing Illinois schools.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

There’s a lack of minority representation and participation in Unit 5 schools, according to a 20-year Bloomington-Normal resident.

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