WIUM Tristates Public Radio


Rich Egger

Some school districts across the nation don't have enough bus drivers, while other districts say they're getting by. TSPR spoke with a with a couple local school superintendents about the issue to get their thoughts.

Mary Gabrielle Manching was one of the few Asian students at Northside College Prep, the selective Chicago public school she attended until graduating this summer.

“Not even seeing that many people in my student body that I could relate to, or I could share my cultural experiences in (and of) itself, already felt discouraging and alienating,’’ said the 18-year-old, whose parents grew up in the Philippines.

Galesburg District 205 is buying school supplies for all its students this year.

Boomer wanders the halls at Immaculate Conception School in Morris wearing a red vest that reads “therapy dog in training.” He’s a Great Pyrenees. So even at just a year old, he already clocks in at over 100 pounds and sits nose-to-nose with kindergartners.

Boomer’s owner, school principal Stacey Swanson, said during the pandemic they needed other ways to help students starting to return in-person.

McDonough County CEO Hosts Trade Show

May 6, 2021
Dylan Smith

The McDonough County CEO program this week held its first-ever in-person trade show. The program canceled last year's show because of the pandemic.

Charter School Expansion Bill Sent to Iowa's Governor

Apr 30, 2021
John Pemble/Iowa Public Radio file photo

Gov. Kim Reynolds is expected to sign a bill (HF 813) given final approval in the Iowa Senate that creates a new pathway to establish charter schools in Iowa.

It has been so frustrating watching the lack of guidance and uncertainty surrounding our education system during the pandemic. And I don't even have that much skin in the game. I feel very lucky to not be one of the parents who worry about sending a child to in-person school or who have had to work at home while leading kids through online school, to say nothing of the nightmare scenario some parents face leaving kids at home for school while they go to work. Our little boy is only a toddler. My husband is a teacher at a rural school, and I've spent five winters substitute teaching. I'm certainly no expert, but I've seen enough during my days in various grades to understand how essential being in school is for kids.

McDonough County CEO Students Reflect on Experience

Mar 31, 2021
Dylan Smith

Brain juices flowing, faces smiling, and conversation filled with ambition. The McDonough County CEO program said it gives high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to gain real-life business experience that cannot be taught in a classroom.

The pandemic has reduced the number of students who want to become teachers.

Some Democratic Illinois lawmakers want to adopt more comprehensive sex education standards for K-12 schools to ensure students have a firm understanding of the importance of consent, the consequences of sharing underage sexually explicit material, and knowing when an action is considered sexual abuse.

Teacher Shortage Worsening for Most Illinois Districts, Survey Shows

Mar 3, 2021
Belleville News-Democrat

new survey of Illinois school districts shows most are continuing to have trouble filling open teaching positions with qualified teachers and even more are having difficulty hiring substitute teachers.

Republican Lawmakers Want Tenure Banned at Iowa's Regents Universities

Feb 25, 2021
Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University

Republicans in the Iowa legislature are advancing bills that would ban professors from getting tenure at the state's three regents universities. The lawmakers say conservative students are being silenced.

More and more Illinois school districts are offering in-person options as COVID-19 positivity rates continue to drop. 70% of students are now in a hybrid learning format. But many parents are turning to their school districts to ask for more in-person time.

For the second year in a row, the Illinois State Board of Education is seeking a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for standardized tests normally given during schools’ spring semester.


This school year, schools identified around 420,000 fewer homeless students than last year. That would normally be a hopeful sign, but not during the pandemic. Advocates say there aren't fewer students experiencing homelessness. It's just that schools can't find them.

Courtesy photo

Recently there has been a great deal of talk about the new proposed Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards. There are questions and concerns about what these standards will mean for students and what they will "learn" or not "learn" once the standards are put into place. It seems as though a bit more context is needed to help us all clarify our understanding of these standards.

Sexual health education could soon be mandatory in Illinois public schools under reintroduced legislation from Democrats in the General Assembly.


The person hired to serve as the next superintendent of the Illini West High School District currently works in Wyoming, but he is no stranger to Illinois.


Nearly half of Illinois high school grads who enroll full-time at a community college get placed in a developmental education course. That includes 70% of Black students and, of them, only 8% graduate compared to 26% of white students.


Some members of the Illinois State Board of Education are voicing concerns that the state will soon adopt high school graduation requirements too burdensome for schools to enforce.

Courtesy Chapin Rose

An education reform bill would force schools to test children even before they enter kindergarten. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus spearheaded the measure, which passed through both houses of the General Assembly this week.

Rich Egger

The Macomb School District is one step closer to breaking ground for its new middle school just south of the current junior-senior high school.

Marisa Hardwick isn’t surprised there are now more than twice as many cases of COVID-19 on the University of Illinois’ Urbana campus than previously predicted by university researchers.

Eighteen young people tested positive for COVID-19 in Sangamon County during the week of August 23.

The weekly number of new cases among those less than 20 years old in each county is one of four metrics the Illinois Department of Public Health began publishing late last month to assist local schools and health departments in making decisions about in-person learning.

Most Illinois school kids will start the school year with remote learning.  That’s according to an Illinois State Board of Education survey of administrators.

Whether it’s the global pandemic or social unrest, nearly everyone has experienced some trauma in 2020.

It’s hard to grasp the long-term mental health implications of COVID-19. But many Americans have already seen their mental health suffer during the pandemic.

Rich Egger/file photo

School districts around western Illinois are taking a variety of approaches to holding classes as the new school year gets underway. A regional school superintendent said that demonstrates the uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University's administration and the University Professionals of Illinois, which represents faculty, have agreed on a plan for holding classes during the fall semester.

As the pandemic began to surge, schools closed and most students switched to online learning almost overnight. Schools with less access to technology relied on paper packets, especially for elementary students.

It was more like crisis teaching, like building the plane as you’re flying it. That’s how Lindsay Zelly described sudden changeover. She’s the director of professional learning at the Illinois Digital Educators Alliance. They provide professional development and online resources to teachers.

Rich Egger

Spoon River College will receive state funding to help complete the next phase of the East Jackson Street campus in Macomb.