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Education and Family

Illinois State University

ISU Trustees will consider a three percent tuition hike for incoming students. Fees would also rise by three percent. Room and board would go up one percent.

Autism McLean

It’s hard to get a job when you are autistic. It’s hard to socialize. It’s hard to do many things. Area advocates hope to create more autism friendly places in Bloomington Normal.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

High school students from all across McLean County are taking part in the Youth Global Citizens program. The program allows students to work on goals and events for local organizations such as the Promise Project and Home Sweet Home Ministries. District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly said bringing the program to McLean County this academic year let students open their eyes to the endless possibilities of leadership. Reilly said he is proud young people are volunteering their time to service and philanthropy.

Larry Dietz at podium
Staff / WGLT

Illinois lawmakers have approved a $600 million short-term funding infusion for higher education institutions that have been struggling financially due to not receiving state money during the state budget impasse.

Illinois State University

Illinois State University has named its new Vice President for Student Affairs. He is Levester Johnson who comes from a similar job at smaller Butler University in Indianapolis.

Staff / WGLT

As part of the general budget planning process Illinois State University goes through every year, the administration offers guidance to Deans and Department Chairs to come up with spending plans.

Autism McLean

Autism Advocacy groups are mounting a challenge to Bloomington Normal businesses to make the twin cities an autism friendly community. MarcFirst and Autism McLean are urging businesses to explore employing people on the spectrum.

HCC building
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Heartland Community College in Normal is marking a quarter century of existence this week. Heartland is one of those entities which proves the public is not always right.

Gov: School Funding Reform Can Wait

Mar 25, 2016
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Gov. Bruce Rauner says an overhaul of Illinois' outdated school funding formula can be done over time.

Staff / WGLT

Part-time classes for older Unit 5 students could be coming to the district's schools.

Unit 5 parents and children begin this week knowing school will start at different times in the fall and buses will run different schedules. But, there are more cost-cutting measures coming, according to Unit 5 Superintendent Mark Daniel, including perhaps three-day-a-week school and charging more for activities and sports.

Nia Gilbert

A sizeable percentage of students at University High School in Normal recently dressed all in black for a day to mark the Black Lives Matter movement. There was some contention as other students dressed all in white as part of an All Lives Matter response. GLT's Charlie Schlenker talks with two organizers of the Black Lives Matter effort, Juniors Seba Nassar and Nia Gilbert about why they thought it was a necessary thing to do at U-High.

Heartland Community College
Staff / WGLT

Heartland Community College is planning to cut 23 positions over three years in an attempt to address the state budget situation and more. College President Rob Widmer says the proposal goes beyond the uncertainty in Springfield, but does include a lack of confidence in funding from the state.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

The McLean County Unit 5 Board of Education has approved changes to start and end times for the 2016-17 school year.

This change from a three-tier to a two-tier system means elementary students will be starting the school day at 7:45. High schools will start at 8:30 and middle schools start latest at 8:45.


The District 87 School Board has approved issuing annual Reduction In Force notices to eight people. It's part of what has become an annual exercise for many school districts who are legally required to issue layoff notices if they are to avoid guaranteeing a job for the fall.

State School Super: Funding Changes Unlikely

Mar 14, 2016
Nyttend / Flickr via Creative Commons

Illinois state superintendent of schools says some districts will lose money, even with Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed increase for school funding.

Paper Tigers; The Movie

Children learn poorly when stressed or traumatized. And that traumatic response can last lifelong unless something happens to turn around the damage. Later this month, the Unit Five Education Association is screening the movie "Paper Tigers" during American Education Week.

Veeresh dandur / Facebook via Creative Commons

SIU President Randy Dunn says cuts in state funding could be the end of the institution as it currently exists. In testimony before a Senate Committee Thursday morning, Dunn says people in the region know SIU is in trouble, and area residents want stability.

Fibonacci Blue / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Assistant Principal at Normals U-high says it's nice to see students interested in issues outside the classroom. That's why Steve Evans says he saw no problem when some asked him if they could wear black today.

Evans says it also gives other students the chance to broach a sometimes sensitive topic in a safe environment. He says it also helps create an atmosphere of natural respect for other views.

Michael Hill / WGLT

Students, parents and teachers are voicing their concerns about possible changes to school bus routes and start times. More than fifteen people spoke during a regular board meeting. Unit 5 Superintendent Mark Daniel says the budget situation is forcing them to make changes.

Education Focus Of Income Inequality Discussion

Feb 29, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

Income inequality is affecting education in K-12 schools. Dr. Frank Beck, who is a Professor of Sociology at Illinois State University says students who worry about issues at home can lose focus in the classroom.

Governor Bruce Rauner has promoted his school-funding plan across the state. He says Democratic attempts to change the school funding formula are a Chicago school bailout. Some Democrats level the same charge against's Rauner’s proposed takeover of Chicago Public Schools.

Transgendered Civil War Soldier On Legacy Wall

Feb 23, 2016
Bill Kemp

A Civil War veteran with a central Illinois connection is on The Legacy Wall, on display at ISU's Milner Library through February 27. Albert D.J. Cashier was born Jennie Hodgers in Ireland. While a lot is known about his life, it's still not as much as others of the era because Cashier was illiterate.

Rauner Defends Higher Ed Funding Strategy

Feb 23, 2016
Cass Herrington / IPR

Governor Bruce Rauner visited a vocational school in Peoria Tuesday to tout his plans to improve Illinois schools.

Rauner’s ideas include funneling more state money to public schools and eliminating unfunded state mandates. Rauner was speaking in a school district where the majority of students are low income.

Illinois State University

Illinois State University is hiring a Nursing School Director from North Carolina to head the Mennonite College of Nursing. Judy Neubrander replaces Janet Krejci who became ISU Provost. At Western Carolina University, Neubrander started a development council fundraising organization, implemented a Doctoral Program in the nursing school, and helped plan a new College of Health and Human Sciences building at Western Carolina.

ISU Trustees Mark Anniversary

Feb 19, 2016
Jim Browne / WGLT

As the Illinois State University Board of Trustees meets and marks it's 20th anniversary, members of the board were thinking of the situation in Springfield. Board Chair Rocky Donahue says during the on-going budget stalemate, when every expenditure is being questioned, ISU is doing it's part.

District 87 Schools

The District 87 school board recently passed a $10 million working cash fund bond to make up for the lack of certainty over money coming from the state. Superintendent Barry Reilly says the interest could be in the neighborhood of $200,000.

Gov Creates Children Cabinet

Feb 18, 2016
RogerW / Facebook via Creative Commons

Governor Bruce Rauner has created a special cabinet to streamline education and issues regarding young people across Illinois. Rauner signed an executive order on Thursday morning at a middle school in Riverton, outside Springfield, creating the Governor's Cabinet on Children and Youth. He says the cabinet will bring together all state entities that deal with children into a central unit. He's calling it the Children's Cabinet. The governor says he wants the cabinet to make sure state resources are used effectively and working together.

IWU Sends Team to National Ethics Competition

Feb 17, 2016
Jim Kuhn / Flickr via Creative Commons

This weekend a group of Illinois Wesleyan University Students is headed for a national ethics competition in Virginia. Wesleyan earned a slot in the competition by virtue of a 3rd place finish in the Central States Regionals. Coach Emily Kelahan says along with learning to defend their own positions on ethical issues, the students also try to understand the other view.

A change in high school athletics is coming. Following several departures from the Corn Belt Conference, remaining members are proposing a merger with Okaw Valley high school athletic programs. Members of both conferences have voted unanimously in favor of the merger. If approved by Superintendents and Boards, the merger would take effect in 2017. In the new conference would be: Bloomington Central Catholic, Illinois Valley Central, Olympia, Pontiac, and Prairie Central from the Corn Belt, and The High School of St. Thomas More in Champaign, Monticello, Rantoul, St.

Bradley University Top Cop Named

Feb 16, 2016
Bradley University / Flickr via Creative Commons

Bradley University has chosen a 24-year U.S. Army veteran to be the campus' new crime prevention officer. Nathan Hayes says he's quickly adjusting to his new job. The school named Haynes to the position earlier this month as part of an effort to strengthen relationships between students at the Peoria campus and the police. Haynes says police should let people know officers are there to help, not harass. Haynes is originally from Oneida. He was in the Army before he came to Bradley in 2014 as a patrol officer.