Illinois lawmakers are losing a century-old political perquisite -- the ability to award college scholarships. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation this morning to end the practice after one last round of awards this summer.
"Instead of scholarships going to those who truly deserve them and who were qualified for scholarships to go to college,” the governor said, “too often the program was abused in a political way."
Governor Pat Quinn has signed a measure that will reduce Illinois' regional offices of education. To avoid elimination, offices must serve at least 61,000 residents. Whiteside County's population is under 59,000.
The board voted unanimously today to dissolve the seven-member elected board of the East St. Louis Public Schools and replace it with an appointed five-member oversight panel to run the school district.
The district already was under state financial oversight, and the board previously had entered an agreement giving a state consultant the final say over most decisions.
Dan Shea, an anthropology professor at Beloit College since 1968, died after a fall Tuesday night while on a research trip with students in Chile.
Shea and five Beloit students arrived June 8 and were scheduled to remain in Chile until June 27. A Beloit College alumnus and an adjunct professor also were on the trip; they remain with the students at this time. Plans are being made for their return as soon as possible.
Nine Rockford schools will be getting additional resources to help administrators deal with discipline and truancy problems and a lack of parent involvement.
Officials with the Rockford School District say the schools are in what they're calling a neighborhood empowerment zone, which has high crime rates and a higher volume of 911 calls. Officials say more than 90 percent of students at the schools also are economically disadvantaged and qualify for free or reduced lunch rates.
Illinois schools would see $200 million in cuts in the budget approved by state lawmakers last week. An Associated Press analysis says if the governor signs the budget, Illinois would fall further behind in providing basic education funding for each student.