Education and Schools | WGLT

Education and Schools

Mark Brodl speaking at podium
Illinois Wesleyan University

Illinois Wesleyan is hoping an expanded menu of minors will attract more college-bound students to the private university.

Starting in the fall, Wesleyan will offer six new minors: actuarial science, statistics, film studies, French and Francophone studies, Italian studies and religious diversity.

Provost and Dean of Faculty Mark Brodl said students and faculty all expressed interest in adding these new programs. He sees a dual benefit.

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.

Staff / WGLT

The Unit 5 Finance Committee met Wednesday night for preliminary discussions on how to address the district’s growing education fund deficit.

Unit 5 Board Members in their meeting room
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Heartland Community College said high school students across central Illinois have saved $4.9 million in community college tuition and fees with dual credit courses through their high schools over the last five years. Sixteen high schools participate in the program with HCC.

Students look at a cadaver
Kristy McLemore

On any given Saturday morning, the average teen might be getting ready for work, heading to practice or a game, or maybe even sleeping in.

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.

Taylor Harper and Campbell Albaugh
Eric Stock / WGLT

If it seems like graduation is coming early this year, you are right.

Breanna Grow / WGLT

Four Unit 5 parents are alleging the district discriminates against black students and black job applicants.

Unit 5 school board members standing up
Breanna Grow / WGLT

Unit 5’s six returning school board members took oaths of office and elected board officers Wednesday night.

Middle school girl lays down and looks at primate through glass.
Bloom Community School

While middle school students across the country were engaging in monkey business for spring break, kids from Bloom Community School spent their vacation with the primates of the Louisville Zoo.

Illinois lawmakers are considering a variety of bills that would change the requirements to earn a teaching certificate.


Right now, to become a licensed teacher in Illinois, you have to pass at least three tests.

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.

Corey and Karrin
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Corey Ostling and Karrin Hawkins are Unit 5’s first-ever high school college and career counselors.

And after almost one full school year in their new roles, even their job titles are a work in progress.

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.

There's an old saying that the hardest animal to kill is a school mascot. But Illinois lawmakers are taking a look at possibly thinning the herd.


Illinois has some school districts operating with only elementary grades, some with only high school grades, some with fewer than a hundred children — a total of 852 school districts. That's more than any other state except California and Texas, both of which have more than twice our population.

Does it matter?

mark Jontry at a mic
Staff / WGLT

The state needs to rethink professional development for teachers and make it even easier to become a sub if it wants to reverse a worsening educator shortage, according to a new report.

Empty desks
djJohn / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Illinois Board of Education says it is switching to a new standardized test this month for third through eighth graders across the state.

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.

Kingsley Junior High School
Google Maps

Unit 5 is planning $3.1 million in upgrades at Kingsley Junior High School in Normal as part of districtwide energy efficiency improvements.

School buses in snow
Charles Krupa / AP

The first thing that District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly wants you to know about Alternative Learning Days?

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.

Chairs and a table inside the new Colene Hoose addition
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Unit 5 board members joined Normal Town Council members for a tour of the new addition at Colene Hoose Elementary School on Tuesday night.

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.


University of Illinois officials are considering installing walk-through metal detectors at the State Farm Center. Director Kevin Ullestad tells the Champaign News-Gazette that officials are considering the detectors as part of an ongoing security review.

If installed, the metal detectors would be permanent and used for all athletic events as well as concerts and shows. Ullestad says staff members use hand-held wands at shows with a "more active crowd." They include rock concerts and hip-hop shows.

Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker and a new crop of legislators will take office come January. Those crafting state education policies say they will continue one of the biggest fights in recent years, finding more funding for teachers, students and schools.

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.

Unit 5 school board meets
Breanna Grow / WGLT

Unit 5 is looking to replace its current student information system with a new platform district officials say will make life easier for students, parents and teachers.

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.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

Illinois State University is increasing efforts to train faculty and students to Run, Hide, or Fight if an active shooter comes to campus. This comes eight months after the deadliest high school shooting in the U.S.

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.