Dusty Rhodes

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Courtesy of John Connor

As he got ready to pitch his legislation to the House education committee, State Rep. John Connor held up a snapshot.

"This is a picture of myself and my younger brother, Matt Connor, at his graduation from the University of Notre Dame in 1994,” the lawmaker said. “What you can't see in this picture is the mole that's on his back. It was a very unusual mole. He was dating a girl who was in the nursing program. She told him to get it looked at. And he waited.”

Flickr user / alamosbasement "old school" (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois State Board of Education filed the paperwork Thursday requesting extra money for all 852 public school districts in the state. It’s the first dose of cash appropriated above last year’s funding level, and is calculated to channel money to the neediest schools.

ANN BALTZER

The trend toward school choice has educators across the country looking at Chicago’s Noble Charter Schools — an award-winning network of mostly high schools that specializes in helping inner-city kids achieve the kind of SAT scores that propel them into four-year universities. But despite its prestigious reputation, Noble has a peculiarly high teacher turnover rate.

Sue Scherer / Facebook

recent report shows Illinois is in the midst of a severe teacher shortage, particularly in the central part of the state. 

In the first of a series of hearings, a committee took testimony from the agency responsible for licensing teachers, and from various teacher unions. 

The Illinois State Board of Education is supposed to spend more government dollars on the neediest schools, according to a new funding plan. Today, lawmakers pushed back against the agency’s proposed price tag.

 

The new plan is called "evidence-based funding," because it measures what each district needs against local resources. Using that math, state superintendent Tony Smith presented a budget request for $15 billion — about double what schools got last year.

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