Education

Education and learning

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.

ACT

Illinois will stop giving the ACT college entrance exam. Instead, the state will start giving high school juniors the rival SAT. 

The company that offers the ACT filed a protest with the state seeking to cancel Illinois's contract with the College Board, which offers the SAT. State records show the three-year contract is worth $14.3 million.

Illinois has given the ACT for free to 11th graders for 15 years. A state budget impasse in Illinois complicated the situation because dozens of districts earlier this school year signed up for ACT testing.

CFNIL

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois on Thursday announced matching endowments to Rockford University and Highland Community College.  The money will be used to create scholarship endowments totaling $5 million for students at the two schools. 

Highland Community College is receiving $1 million from the Foundation, toward a total scholarship endowment of $2 million.  Rockford University is receiving $1.5 million, toward a fund totaling $3 million.

Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University students will soon receive an e-mail to name a mental health emergency contact person. That’s because the school will soon be required by law to provide that paperwork.

The Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Act says colleges and universities have to provide incoming students a form that would allow the school to disclose mental health information about the student to a designated person. That’s if the school thinks the student is a threat to others or him-or-herself. 

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