Education

Education and learning

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Rock Valley College’s president will step down next January. Mike Mastroianni says the time is right to retire, and he’ll still be able to wrap up a number of the school’s projects. He has been with RVC for 18 years and was named president in 2014.

Mastroianni counts an engineering partnership with Northern Illinois University and the expansion of the aviation technology program among his accomplishments.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A program designed to educate -- and keep -- engineers in Rockford officially kicked off its six-million dollar fundraising campaign Tuesday. The joint project between Rock Valley College and Northern Illinois University is already halfway to its goal.

Senator Challenges Rauner's Math On School Funding

Feb 19, 2016
ilga.gov

Public schools were singled out in Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget address yesterday as one of the rare state services he’s happy to fund. In fact, he said increasing education funding is the one thing that he will not back down on.

Illinois public schools receive state aid through a complicated formula. It’s meant to ensure that every school can spend at least $6,119 per student every year. But, for the past few years, state government hasn’t met that obligation.

Rauner said he wants to fund 100 percent of the state aid formula for the first time in seven years.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University’s president responded this week to complaints about his travel expenses.

Chicago State University won’t have funds to operate by March 1 if  state money is not released, officials there have said.

All Rockford Public Schools are closed today, according to an announcement on the school district website. All district after-school activities also are canceled, the announcement said.

The district reports that "a large percentage" of the district-owned school buses would not start because of the extreme cold.

The Administration Building, Student Assignment Center/Sterling Holley and Operations Support Center are open.

A Chicago area transgender student whose fight to use a girls' locker room sparked a national debate will be allowed access on Friday.

The move follows a long battle with federal authorities and public meetings.

Palatine-based Township High School District 211 entered an agreement with federal officials last month after the student filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.

State of Illinois

Most school districts in Illinois would get an increase in state aid if a budget request approved Wednesday by the State Board of Education is adopted.

Only the wealthiest districts would see a decrease, and it would be less than 1 percent. 

State funding for public schools has remained stagnant or decreased for the past five years. Districts with low property values have no way to supplement that aid, leaving Illinois with one of the most inequitable funding scenarios in the nation.

Students Offered Incentive To Consider Kishwaukee

Jan 5, 2016
Jenna Dooley

Students returning from winter break are getting an offer they can't refuse. One lucky student will have his or her tuition paid for the spring semester, up to 12 credit hours. Marshall Hayes is the Director of Foundation Development of Kishwaukee College.  Hayes says, "it's a tuition reimbursement we're offering for the spring semester. It's an encouragement for students to consider taking classes at Kish. 

The tuition reimbusement was approved after discussion with other department heads.

Many Illinois colleges and universities fronted the money for income-based Monetary Award Program grants to students in the fall semester. That's despite the lack of a state budget and no assurance that they'd be reimbursed. 

Major schools will continue covering them for the spring, although others are telling students they can't cover the debt for the coming semester. 

The list below shows a sampling of schools, their enrollment, the number of students receiving MAP grants in the fall, and the total amount covered.

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