Education and learning

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

It’s been 24 years since a federal magistrate proclaimed the Rockford Public Schools had “raised discrimination to an art form” and ordered the schools to desegregate.

The court remedy set up a system of school choice, which led to racially balanced schools. In 2010, the order was lifted and the district chose to return to “zoned schools.” Students now attend schools close to their homes -- but that has led to re-segregation.

Northern Illinois University

Pay raises may be on the way for some Northern Illinois University employees.

In her State of the University address Wednesday, Acting NIU President Lisa Freeman touched on subjects like the delayed presidential search, the school’s fiscal future and university building projects.

Freeman also mentioned this in her speech:

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University won't begin a formal search for its next president until next year.  The Board of Trustees said the timing is in the best interest of the university.

In a letter released Monday to the NIU community, Board Chairman Wheeler Coleman and Vice Chair Dennis Barsema said feedback from faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders led to the determination to start the search in fall of 2018.

The two said there was a strong push for an open and inclusive process, however long that would take. /

Northern Illinois University was ordered to stop changing parking fees for union members without bargaining and refund the fee changes. 

That’s according to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. They ruled Thursday that NIU raised parking pass prices in 2016 without bargaining with AFSCME-member employees.

More than 600 clerical, paraprofessional and administrative employees should be reimbursed $38 each plus interest, the board ruled. 

A federal indictment alleges Larry Wyllie misused taxpayer money to build a dog-training school and to give himself a retirement bonus. It also says that, as superintendent, he lied about the finances of Lincoln-Way High School District 210, using money borrowed for construction to pay for regular expenses.

District 210 mainly serves Frankfort, Mokena and New Lenox, southwest of Chicago. Household income and property values are well above the state average; yet, among hundreds of Illinois school systems, Lincoln-Way’s finances are ranked third from the bottom.