Education and learning

Sue Scherer / Facebook

recent report shows Illinois is in the midst of a severe teacher shortage, particularly in the central part of the state. 

In the first of a series of hearings, a committee took testimony from the agency responsible for licensing teachers, and from various teacher unions. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Several Illinois universities are reassuring future students that disciplinary action resulting from recent protest activity will not affect their admission to those schools.

Northern Illinois University officials said in a statement this week that the admissions status of prospective students will not be affected due to any detentions or suspensions imposed for protests after the Parkland, Fla., shooting.

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

A panel of state senators heard budget requests from agencies representing colleges and universities, and lawmakers took the opportunity to ask why neighboring states are able to lure so many Illinois students away.

The answer is pretty simple: Other Big 10 schools offer financial considerations that the Illinois flagship campus can't match.

Last week, the Illinois governor’s budget address outlined several proposals to reduce state spending. One focuses on K-12 schools.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner wants public school districts to begin “cost sharing” their employees’ state pensions over the next few years. Districts would be responsible for 25 percent of their pension cost during the first year, then an additional 25 percent each of the following three years. He said this overhaul is a fiscal necessity.

Chase Cavanaugh/WNIJ

It’s often challenging for rural public schools to raise money. When funds do come through, it can be a struggle spreading money among programs, personnel, and maintenance. A series of grants aims to improve STEM education at these schools.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. These topics are emphasized increasingly in educational standards and the current jobs market. But STEM programs often require specialized equipment and training, which can get expensive.