Education and learning

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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.


Some officials at public universities in Illinois are at least floating the idea of taking legal action against the governor and the Illinois legislature over the absence of a state budget.

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz says it's not likely that will happen, but admitted some educators are considering going to court.

"Some of the institutions are looking at this as a possibility, though we don't think it's a high probability," Dietz said.

NIU, Sauk Valley Partner To Make Degrees Convenient

Oct 14, 2015
Sauk Valley Community College / Northern Illinois University

Sauk Valley Community College and Northern Illinois University have partnered to make earning a degree more convenient.

Sauk Valley president Dave Hellmich and NIU president Doug Baker came together on Tuesday to sign two new agreements.

The first is the "reverse transfer agreement", allowing Sauk Valley students to transfer to NIU and finish their associate’s degree within any department. Likewise, NIU students can transfer credits to Sauk Valley to finish their associate’s.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Classes are expected to resume Friday at Northern Illinois University, after all of the school's campuses were evacuated because of a bomb threat Thursday night.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Bilingual employees are in hot demand. At least that’s what a recent survey by Northern Illinois University found. One of the greatest areas of need is for teachers with skills in more than one language. WNIJ’s Susan Stephens spoke with NIU Professor James Cohen, who specializes in bilingual education.


Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Monday, 9:00 pm

The strike is suspended and Rock Valley College faculty and students will be back in class Tuesday. The RVC Faculty Association approved a mediator's contract proposal that had been negotiated last Friday. It appears the wrong contract was voted on and rejected at a faculty meeting Sunday night. The discrepancy was discovered today during negotiations between the two sides. A corrected version was presented to members of the union Monday night and approved.

Rock Valley College

Rock Valley College faculty members rejected a mediator's proposal that could have ended their strike.  Union members gathered to review the latest five year contract from the school and voted to reject it at a meeting Sunday night at the Unitarian Universalist church in Rockford.. 

The two sides met for 10 hours Friday and were given a plan to consider by a mediator working on the contract dispute.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

After a long day of negotiations Friday, the union representing striking Rock Valley College faculty agreed to meet Sunday to vote on a proposal from a mediator

  . If the union accepts the offer, classes could resume as early as Monday. If the union rejects the offer, the two sides will return to the bargaining table Monday.

The school's board of trustees will vote on the mediator's proposal Tuesday at its regular meeting.

Teachers have been on strike since Wednesday. Classes have been canceled since then.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Update, Friday 6:22 pm: Contract negotiations continue between striking Rock Valley College faculty members and the school's bargaining representative. They've been negotiating all day.

Classes are canceled for a second day at Rock Valley College because of a faculty strike. Now the college’s president is making a plea for them to return to work.