Education

Education and learning

A program designed to get more minority teachers into Illinois classrooms is turning directly to the public for support. 

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Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is forming a panel to pick up where a recent commission left off revamping the state's outdated public school funding formula.

The Chicago Democrat announced the panel Thursday. He says the group will address questions left unanswered by a funding reform commission convened by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner last year.

That commission reported its findings earlier this month. It concluded Illinois must change how it funds schools to ensure all students are properly educated. But it produced no legislative proposals.

pritchardstaterep.org

Today on WNIJ’s Friday Forum, we take on education in Illinois. 

State Rep. Bob Pritchard (R-Hinckley) is a member of the bipartisan bicameral commission tasked with reforming school funding in Illinois. The commission's recent report set a goal of increasing state funding for education from 26% to 50%. Pritchard says they also came up with 27 factors to help identify, then close, funding gaps between the wealthiest and poorest districts. 

Flickr user JayMase / "Physical Education" (CC V 2.0)

Illinois Democrats are calling on Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to propose legislation based on an education funding reform plan that a commission he convened released last week.

But Education Secretary Beth Purvis indicated such proposals should come from legislators.

Purvis testified Thursday before the Senate Education Committee about the panel's recommendations on how to fund Illinois schools more equitably. Lawmakers called it a step forward but suggested the governor use it as a framework for legislation to keep proposals from receiving a partisan label.

NIU

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary.  DeVos’s nomination was controversial, and it took a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence to confirm her in the post.  But despite that, one education expert says her appointment may not have all that much effect – at least at first.

Laurie Elish-Piper, Dean of the College of Education at Northern Illinois University, says DeVos may have strong views, but she’s circumscribed in her actions by current law -- especially the Every Student Succeeds Act passed in 2015.  

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