Education

Education and learning

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Nearly 13 percent of Illinoisans do not have a high school diploma. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law Friday aimed at changing that. The new law will allow community colleges and non-profit organizations to set up “adult high school” programs where people over 21 can earn diplomas.

Currently, their only option is a GED. Rauner said this program will offer much more, including “more job opportunities, to better careers and higher wages, higher salaries for the people of Illinois who now have access to a high school diploma that they didn’t have access to before.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

It’s been 24 years since a federal magistrate proclaimed the Rockford Public Schools had “raised discrimination to an art form” and ordered the schools to desegregate.

The court remedy set up a system of school choice, which led to racially balanced schools. In 2010, the order was lifted and the district chose to return to “zoned schools.” Students now attend schools close to their homes -- but that has led to re-segregation.

Northern Illinois University

Pay raises may be on the way for some Northern Illinois University employees.

In her State of the University address Wednesday, Acting NIU President Lisa Freeman touched on subjects like the delayed presidential search, the school’s fiscal future and university building projects.

Freeman also mentioned this in her speech:

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University won't begin a formal search for its next president until next year.  The Board of Trustees said the timing is in the best interest of the university.

In a letter released Monday to the NIU community, Board Chairman Wheeler Coleman and Vice Chair Dennis Barsema said feedback from faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders led to the determination to start the search in fall of 2018.

The two said there was a strong push for an open and inclusive process, however long that would take.  

niu.edu / afscme.org

Northern Illinois University was ordered to stop changing parking fees for union members without bargaining and refund the fee changes. 

That’s according to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. They ruled Thursday that NIU raised parking pass prices in 2016 without bargaining with AFSCME-member employees.

More than 600 clerical, paraprofessional and administrative employees should be reimbursed $38 each plus interest, the board ruled. 

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