Explore our content

All types | All dates | All authors
Education
Quick Hit
by Progress Illinois
1:52pm
Tue Jul 3, 2012

Op-Ed: President And Congress Deserve Credit For Freezing Student Loan Rate

The following is by Celeste Meiffren, field director for Illinois PIRG.

Last week, a divided Congress came together to deliver for the economy, as well as students and families, by extending the low 3.4 percent interest rate on subsidized Stafford student loans.

The rate was scheduled to double on Saturday, June 30th, without a new plan from Congress. With the atmosphere in Washington, DC even more partisan than usual due to the impending election, many were skeptical that both sides of the aisle could come together to freeze the low interest rate on these loans. Yet on Friday, Democrats and Republicans responded to the public by agreeing on a new law freezing the low rate for one year, and just in the nick of time.

Read more »

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
6:14pm
Thu Jun 28, 2012

Digging Deeper Into The State Budget Process

Gov. Pat Quinn has decided to close several state correctional facilities in addition to shutting down the Tinley Park Mental Health Center and Jacksonville Developmental Center, as we have previously reported.

But how can Quinn order these shut downs after the General Assembly passed a budget with money to keep them open? What power does Quinn have and what powers do lawmakers have? Read more »

PI Original
by Steven Ross Johnson
3:01pm
Thu Jun 28, 2012

Clock Continues To Tick On Student Loan Interest Rate Extension

As the deadline draws near for Congress to find a solution to the ongoing debate over how to prevent student loan ineterst rates from doubling, education advocates have warned that a failure to act would negatively impact the nation’s economy.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:23pm
Wed Jun 27, 2012

Parents, Teachers Rally For Fair Contract, Better School Conditions At Board Of Ed Meeting

In three days, Chicago Public Schools teachers will see their contracts expire. This morning, members of the Chicago Teachers Union along with dozens of public school parents and students rallied outside CPS headquarters, calling on the Board of Education to negotiate non-salary issues.

Since November 2011, the CTU has negotiated with the Board of Education for a fair labor contract. The union presented the board with proposals for art, music and foreign language classes for all students, smaller class sizes, properly staffed schools and fair compensation for teachers, among other education-improvement efforts. 

Read more »

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
4:07pm
Fri Jun 22, 2012

Urban Education Activists Take Complaints To Obama Administration (VIDEO)

The Kenwood Oakland community organization on Chicago’s South Side joined with education activists across the country at a press conference yesterday in downtown Chicago to contend that so-called education reform policies violate their civil rights by marginalizing the voices of minority parents and students.

Plaintiffs from Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Washington, D.C. as well as Wichita, Kansas and Eureka, Mississippi announced that they plan to file seven separate complaints with the U.S. Department of Education stating that their respective city’s education policies violate the Civil Rights Act.

“Since we pay taxes we should have the right to have input in these schools,” said Jitu Brown, an organizer with Kenwood Oakland. “The common denominator in all these city policies is that we don’t.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
7:07pm
Fri Jun 15, 2012

State Budget Puts Children's Services In Limbo

The state budget passed by the Illinois General Assembly cuts many services for low-income children. For example, cuts in early childhood education could keep thousands of kids from getting a pre-kindergarten education.

Gov. Pat Quinn has yet to sign these cuts into law. The only budget legislation the governor has signed so far is a package of Medicaid bills that cuts the health care program and raises the cigarette tax. This gives social service providers hope that cuts will be averted, but also makes it confusing what money they will have to work with. Read more »

PI Original
by Matthew Blake
10:38am
Fri Jun 15, 2012

National Education Group Aims To Shape Chicago Teacher Contract Negotiations

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis has claimed that national education policy groups disruptively shape the Chicago Public Schools' agenda and are now interfering in contract negotiations between CPS and the teachers union. The one outside group that has indisputably stepped into the collective bargaining fray is Education Reform Now, which is headquartered in New York.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
4:02pm
Thu Jun 14, 2012

State Budget Deals A Blow To Struggling School Districts

In his annual budget address this February, Gov. Pat Quinn singled out education as an area that the state government is not cutting, despite his overall push toward fiscal austerity.

“I believe in the power of education to create opportunity in our society,” the governor said. “This is why I have maintained our basic investment in education, despite extremely hard times.”

But the budget the Illinois General Assembly sent the governor includes $857 million or 8.2 percent in state education budget cuts from fiscal year 2012 to fiscal year 2013, which begins July 1. The cuts will especially impact less wealthy school districts that cannot turn to local property tax revenue in lieu of reduced state money. Read more »