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Northern Illinois University
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue May 20, 2014

Chicagoans Protest Against Youth Incarceration, Push For More Educational Investments (VIDEO)

Young people in Chicago spoke out against the "school-to-prison pipeline" Monday evening and demanded more investments in education as part of a national week of action against youth incarceration.

Toting signs reading "Educate, Don't Hate," a few hundred Chicago youths and their allies rallied outside the now-shuttered Paderewski Elementary Learning Academy in South Lawndale before marching more than two miles to the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) at 1100 S. Hamilton Ave.

Monday's action, co-sponsored by more than 30 local organizations such as Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools, the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and the Immigrant Youth Justice League, was meant to highlight the need for more public investment in schools, job training and youth programs, various health services and community-based alternatives to incarceration.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Aug 16, 2013

Study: University Pension Plan Would Weaken Financial Security Of Retirees

A pension reform proposal endorsed by various Illinois university presidents would erode retirement security for public employees and make it harder for schools to recruit and retain talented teachers, two authors of a new study say.

The pension plan, known as the “Universities” proposal, is currently under consideration by the Illinois General Assembly’s conference committee tasked with crafting compromise legislation to address the state’s nearly $100 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.

Howard Wial, an associate research professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of the Pennsylvania-based Keystone Research Center, analyzed the pension proposal as part of their study released Wednesday.

The pension proposal, put forth by a group of scholars from the University of Illinois and Northern Illinois University, focuses on the State Universities Retirement System. Members of the pension conference committee have said they are looking at ways to adapt the plan for other retirement systems.

“Policymakers need to recognize that this plan represents a very deep cut to public pension benefits despite the consensus that state underfunding, not public-sector employees, is responsible for Illinois’ pension challenges,” Herzenberg said in a statement.