education

Recent data shows more Illinois students are taking Advanced Placement tests.  

The classes and accompanying exams can help them earn college credit.  The State Board of Education is working to ensure more low-income and minority students take the tests, and spokeswoman Jackie Matthews says the effort is going well.  

"The State Board is moving some unused federal funds directly into the AP test fee program to keep the fee for low-income students at $15 per tests, to make sure these tests remain accessible to all students."  

Normally, it cost $93 for each exam.   

"A Teacher's Library" by Flickr User Angie Garrett / (CC X 2.0)

An Illinois House committee has cleared a proposal that would require public universities to admit first-time freshman applicants who finish with a GPA in the top 10 percent of their high school's graduating class.

The News-Gazette reports that the House Higher Education Committee passed the bill Wednesday despite opposition from the University of Illinois and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

WVIK

An Illinois legislator is calling for free tuition at state universities.

With the pile of unpaid Illinois bills topping $10 billion, Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, acknowledges it’s not a short-term goal.

“But, I want that to be the guide star. I want that to be the objective that we work toward,” he said. “And this year, I want us to pass something that’s going to make college a little more affordable and reduce the burden of debt on working families.”

He declined to give any specifics on what that “something” might be.

"IMG_4491" by Flickr User alkruse24 / (CC X 2.0)

A survey of Illinois public school districts finds administrators are scrambling to find substitute teachers for as many as 600 classrooms a day.

The review of 400 districts that the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools released Tuesday reveals that teachers call in absences more than 16,000 times per week. Administrators have trouble finding enough people to fill in for nearly 20 percent of them.

Jeff Vose is association president. The regional superintendent for Sangamon and Menard counties says stricter licensing requirements are to blame.

mhec.org

Illinois Board of Higher Education Director James Applegate has announced he will be stepping down from his post next month.

Applegate announced his resignation in IBHE's bi-weekly report Friday. He says he will be leaving to ``pursue other opportunities to serve American higher education.''

The 65-year-old began working with the state in February 2014. He made $200,000 per year in his position as executive director.

In the newsletter, Applegate noted achievements during his tenure, which he says include raising grant funds to support college readiness and access.

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