Nine Rockford schools will be getting additional resources to help administrators deal with discipline and truancy problems and a lack of parent involvement.
Officials with the Rockford School District say the schools are in what they're calling a neighborhood empowerment zone, which has high crime rates and a higher volume of 911 calls. Officials say more than 90 percent of students at the schools also are economically disadvantaged and qualify for free or reduced lunch rates.
A state commission says Illinois schools shouldn’t be forced to consolidate. Monday night's hearing in Rockford was the final of four public hearings on the issue. The Classrooms First Commission has now toured its plan around the state. House Bill 1216 was signed into law on August 23, 2011, creating a commission to research issues affecting school districts.
It looks like Illinois will keep most of its regional offices of education. A commission charged with reviewing the need for the offices and the position of Regional Superintendent released its recommendation today: it proposed cutting the number of offices from 44 to 35.