education

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

A bipartisan group of state legislators has been meeting since August, trying to come up with a new plan to fund public schools.

 

This isn't the first such commission; Illinois has a notoriously inequitable school funding formula, and lawmakers have been trying to adjust it for years.

 

But State Senator Karen McConnaughay, a Republican from St. Charles, says senate leaders hoping to end the overall budget stalemate have inspired lawmakers to find common ground.

 

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

A new law designed to relieve the statewide shortage of teachers and substitute teachers was signed by Governor Bruce Rauner today.

State Senator Dave Luechtefeld, a Republican, taught history and government at Okawville High School for more than 30 years, so it’s hard to argue with him about what it takes to be an educator.

That’s probably why the bill he sponsored passed unanimously in both chambers of the Illinois legislature. It lowers the fee for a substitute teaching license, and smooths the way for retired teachers to work as subs.

Nearly 150 Illinois public school districts gave bonuses to teachers and administrators last school year.

The Chicago Tribune says the 144 districts represent 20 percent of all districts. Citing state data, the newspaper reports about 3,100 people received a total of $5.5 million. The average was $1,750.

Bonuses have become a common way to inspire educators to improve student achievement. But researchers say results are varied, and critics wonder whether it's a good use of tax dollars.

First E-Learning Day Used In Illinois Pilot Program

Dec 20, 2016
Early Morning Chill by Bryan Alexander/CC BY 2.0

One of three school districts participating in an Illinois e-learning day pilot program got to test it out on Monday.

The e-learning day pilot program was meant to provide schools an alternative to snow days and a way for districts to prevent adding days to the end of the school year because of those snow days. West Chicago High School District 94 used its first e-learning day instead of a school cancellation on Monday due to extreme low temperatures.

Flickr User Matt Long/CC 2.0

Wisconsin Representative Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc, is drafting legislation that would require random drug screening for high school students taking part in extracurricular activities.  

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