ACT Test No Longer Required in Illinois

The popular ACT college entrance exam has been bumped from the roster of required state tests in 2015, part of a wave of changes reshaping how and when Illinois students are tested, which drew criticism from educators across the Chicago region.

Chicago Uses Accounting Maneuvers & Passes $5.8B Budget

While officials acknowledged the potential pitfalls of using a one-time accounting maneuver to cover a gaping deficit, Chicago’s Board of Education Wednesday unanimously approved a $5.8 billion operating budget and another $1 billion in spending on capital projects and debt payments.

Chicago Tribune: IL Lawmakers Intervene in Teacher Licensing

State lawmakers have intervened repeatedly in Illinois’ teacher licensing process, going to bat in some cases for candidates who did not meet state requirements and applicants with criminal pasts as well as for relatives, donors and constituents, a Tribune investigation revealed.

Proposed Chicago Budget Gives Charters a Boost

While Chicago Public Schools officials maintain they do everything to keep budget cuts away from the classroom, the proposed operating budget for the coming school year decreases funding to 504 traditional neighborhood schools by $72 million.

Chicago Students to Get Free Breakfast and Lunch

Much of the recent national conversation about school lunches has revolved around whether we’ll keep feeding a generation of overweight kids cheap, high-fat pizza, Tater Tots, and chicken nuggets. While healthier options are great and worth fighting for, they can’t make much difference if a family can’t afford to pay for its child to eat them. It turns out that so many public school students are poor in Chicago that the federal government is stepping in and giving every kid meals for free.

Illinois Lowers Age Requirement for Kindergarten

Among several new laws effective in Illinois this week is a requirement that children attend kindergarten at a younger age, a shift that state officials say could mean higher costs for an already underfunded school system.

Chicago District’s Deficit Approaches $900 Million

Forced once again to cover a gaping deficit that this year approaches $900 million, Chicago Public Schools is using a one-time accounting adjustment to make ends meet in a $5.8 billion preliminary operating budget that was released Wednesday.