The Illinois State Board of Education released loads of data on Friday, when the latest statewide report card debuted. But it doesn't include other information school officials say they'd really like to get ahold of.

The school report card shows student demographic trends, class size, graduation rates and how well teachers at any given district are paid compared with the state average.

But a key indicator of academic progress? That's not posted.

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

The diversity makeup of Illinois schools is changing. That’s according to information released by the state.

If you moved every desk, from every Illinois school, into one giant classroom, more than half of the kids in those seats would be students of color.

That's on par with national figures. Last year, the U.S. Department of Education signaled that minorities would outnumber whites at the nation's public schools.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has so far focused his attention on business and union issues, and restructuring state government - like workers' compensation, tort reform and legislative term limits.

But what about his education agenda?

Before he was governor, Rauner was a wealthy private equity investor known in some circles for his involvement in education. There's even a charter school named after him: Chicago's Rauner College Prep.

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

There’s no end in sight to the political gridlock in Springfield. But one group says it has an education plan that could get Republican and Democratic support.

It’s a new twist on an old idea: corporations paying money into a special fund. They’d get tax breaks. And parents would get cash to use for the school of their choice.

Governor Bruce Rauner has drawn a hard line when it comes to his pro-business, anti-union policies. And Democrats - they’re not crossing over. It’s part of why there’s a budget stalemate.

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

Classes will start 25 minutes later next year at one northern Illinois school. That’s so students have more time to sleep.

The Stevenson High School board approved the change, and it will take effect in August 2016. The Lincolnshire school's day will begin at 8:30 a.m. instead of 8:05 a.m.

Classes and passing periods will be shortened, because the school day will still end at 3:25 p.m.

Illinois' nine public universities have gone four months without money from the state.  University presidents have said it's putting their institutions "at the brink of serious operational damage."

University of Illinois President Tim Killeen spoke to a reporter as he was leaving the governor's office.

"We had a very candid conversation about, about strategies going forward."

Killeen says that did not include any guarantee the schools will get their money anytime soon.


Officials of a northern Illinois school district say controversial bleachers built in violation of local zoning laws will be coming down this month.

Homeowners who live near the Crystal Lake South High School football field sued Community High School District 155 after 55-foot-tall bleachers were built two years ago. They claimed the bleachers were erected without proper permits from the city, were too close to property lines and invaded their privacy.

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled last month the bleachers must come down.

Breuder Sues College Of DuPage Trustees

Oct 22, 2015

College of DuPage President Robert Breuder, on paid administrative lead since April, is officially out of a job. Now, he's suing the board of trustees that ousted him.

The Board of Trustees voted 4 to 1 at a special meeting Tuesday night to terminate him, effective immediately. Breuder had been president since January 2009.

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Schools in Illinois’s neediest districts are being forced to spend federal funds to prop up the state’s Teacher Retirement System. 

Public schools that serve a significant number of low-income students receive federal Title 1 grants, earmarked for initiatives to close the achievement gap. If a school uses those funds to hire certified teachers -- reading or math specialists, for example -- the school has to pay into that teacher’s retirement account.

After more than six months on paid administrative leave, the fate of embattled College of DuPage (CoD) President Robert Breuder may finally be resolved Tuesday evening.

The college Board of Trustees has scheduled a special meeting for 6 p.m. with a “Resolution to Terminate the Employment of the College President” as the only specific item of business on the agenda.