School Finances Appear to Be Worsening in Illinois - Education Week

An Illinois board of education report shows more schools are in poor financial shape and borrowing money or dipping into reserves than in previous years, a problem that could worsen as the state faces overall budget cuts next year.

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Source: Education Week Illinois

Police ask Ill. lawmakers to protect youth funding - Education Week

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Source: Education Week Illinois

2 dozen Chicago high schools to distribute condoms - Education Week

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Source: Education Week Illinois

Ill. House passes measure to change GED testing - Education Week

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Source: Education Week Illinois

Report finds Illinois school finances worsening - Education Week

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Source: Education Week Illinois

State superintendent: education cuts 'devastating' - Education Week

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Source: Education Week Illinois

Testing Skeptics Aim to Build Support for Opt-Out Strategy - Education Week

Critics of high-stakes testing believe having parents refuse to let their children take assessments could force policymakers to take note of their cause.

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Source: Education Week Illinois

Feb. 27 Media Advisory: CCH releases survey findings that show Illinois school services fall short for homeless students

What: Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) releases findings from a statewide survey of public school districts across Illinois regarding services offered to homeless students.

Issue: Despite enrollment figures showing more than 54,800 homeless students in Illinois schools last year, too many children and teens are going without needed services – more than half of homeless students must cope without needed tutoring, preschool and counseling.

Media Availability: Thursday, February 27, CCH staff whose work focuses on the issues facing homeless students and youth will be available for interviews, by phone or in person, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Interviews on other dates may require an appointment.)

Parents of students experiencing homelessness are available for interviews through CCH contact below.

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CCH ran a statewide survey in December 2013 that asked public school districts and Regional Offices of Education to respond about the level of services reaching children and teens identified as homeless students. Sixty-seven percent responded – 36 of 54 sub-grantees under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Key findings include:

  • 52% responded that more than half of their homeless students do not receive needed tutoring or access to preschool.
  • 56% said that less than half of homeless students received counseling
  • 44% said their staffing capacity to identify and enroll homeless students is limited or very limited
  • 21% responded that less than half of homeless students get transportation assistance to get to and from school

The Illinois State Board of Education has proposed to restore $3 million in FY15 state funding for grants to school districts for services to homeless students, but the proposal must still be approved by the Governor and the state legislature. Funding was awarded for only one year, during FY09, though homeless enrollment in schools across Illinois has more than doubled over the past five years, to 54,892 last school year (2012-13).

Contact:

Laurene Heybach, CCH Law Project director

- See more at: http://www.chicagohomeless.org/feb-27-media-advisory-cch-to-release-study-that-illinois-school-services-fall-short-for-homeless-students/#sthash.7iQYDkyN.dpuf

Top 15 Superintendents Pensions for 2013.

Last week we published the Top 10 Superintendents salaries. To show how excessive salaries effect pension liabilities we are publishing the Top 15 pensions in TRS all of which are former superintendents except James Hintz who was the school business manager i.e. the school accountant.

The key point in the following chart is the column titled “
Months Pension To Cover Employee Contrib.” Note that the range is 11 to 16 months of pension to cover every penny contributed by the employee.  That’s the equivalent to making my $25,000 annual Social Security payment over $130,000 per year. Nice deal if you can get it.

And please note Mr. Reginald Weaver who was not a state employee but an employee of the Illinois Education Association – the largest teachers union in Illinois.

Special deals, distortions and political corruption all play a role in the outrageous pensions shown here. And you the taxpayer always end up paying the tab.

We will have more articles on how superintendents excessive salaries and the pension they generate are manipulated to the benefit of employees and to the detriment of taxpayers.

Top 15 Superintendent pensions as of October 2013
Superintendent Name School District  Pension  Member’s Contribution  Months Pension To Cover Employee Contrib.  Pension Paid To-date
Wyllie, Lawrence A Lincoln-Way CHSD 210    289,861       376,384                 16           74,076
Bangser, Henry S New Trier TWP HSD 203    277,617       275,366                 12     1,776,815
Catalani, Gary T Community Unit SD 200    276,382       289,151                 13     1,512,519
Murray, Laura L Homewood-Flossmoor CHSD 233    271,913       298,591                 13     1,304,013
Curley, Mary M Hinsdale CCSD 181    264,089       248,708                 11     1,445,244
Lamberson, Jonathan E Riverside SD 96    262,516       339,413                 16           87,505
Fleming, Larry K Lincolnshire-Prairie View 103    258,163       326,507                 15        323,420
Weaver, Reginald L National Education Association    257,435       264,894                 12     1,224,457
Hager, Maureen L North Shore SD 112    256,059       277,774                 13     1,003,003
Hintz, James S Adlai Stevenson HSD 125    249,109       235,017                 11     1,774,797
Conyers, John G Palatine CCSD 15    244,778       217,805                 11     2,136,680
Kelly, Dennis G Lyons TWP HSD 204    236,935       289,587                 15        601,789
Dada, M Mohsin Schaumburg CCSD 54    236,904       299,494                 15        532,874
Gmitro, Henry A Community CSD 93    234,803       282,750                 14        997,912
Bultinck, Howard J Sunset Ridge SD 29    233,034       257,014                 13     1,298,420

STEM Academy's Reach Spans Illinois - Education Week

The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy is working to expand its influence beyond campus with a growing number of outreach initiatives, including after-school, summer, and professional-development programs.

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Source: Education Week Illinois