Education and Family

Melissa Schoper / WGLT

The Unit 5 School Board last night heard parent concerns about new bus routes. More students are riding fewer buses due to a change in school start times, and budget cuts.

Some routes have children spending two hours on a bus when they only live ten minutes away. Parents and First Student bus drivers said buses are overcrowded and routes are confusing.

Illinois State University

Early enrollment numbers have Illinois State University leaders smiling.

More than 21,000 students are on campus, an increase of about three hundred, based on first day enrollment numbers.

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly

GLT correspondent and producer Judy Valente was recently honored for her journalism by the national Association for Women in Communications.

Valente received a Clarion Award in public affairs reporting for a segment she reported on "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly," a religion news show on national PBS-TV.

The report focused on St. Benedict's Preparatory School for boys in Newark, New Jersey. The school was born out of the strife of the 1967 riots in that city, and is run by a group of Benedictine monks who have gained success with unconventional teaching methods.

Aleteia/Flicker

Lynne Mapes-Riordan has long been active at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in the Chicago suburb of Evanston. She never thought about becoming an ordained deacon, however, until her church began praying to the Virgin Mary to help guide one the men in her parish who was training to become a deacon.

Then Mapes-Riordan had an epiphany.

"I read that prayer because part of it was to help people understand what deacons do. And it occurred to me that Mary herself could not be a deacon," Mapes-Riordan said.

That's because the Catholic diaconate, as it's known, is currently open only to men. That might change.

WGLT Staff / WGLT

Unit 5's new school bus system will be put to the test when classes start next week. Earlier this year, the school board adjusted school start times to reduce the number of buses needed.

Superintendent Mark Daniel said he is ready for the first day, but also aware there will be some trouble spots.

Heartland Community College / WGLT

Heartland Community College is getting ready for a new school year.

But many things are not yet clear.

In this conversation with GLT's Charlie Schlenker, Heartland President Rob Widmer said one of the unknowns, with only a month to go before school, is enrollment.

Illinois State University

Illinois State University is losing its Provost. Janet Krecji is leaving at the end of the year to become Dean of the School of Nursing at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Krejci said she's sorry to go, but she has had changes in her family situation back in Wisconsin over the last couple months.

WGLT

Jeanne Hamilton is a month into her new job as the Director of the Bloomington Public Library. Hamilton replaced Georgia Bouda who retired amid concern over a bookmobile program that did not serve the west side of town. Hamilton says it's going well with a great staff.

She tells GLT's Charlie Schlenker she is getting to know members of the community. Hamilton says there are no fires to put out, but instead goals to work toward.

WIU To Furlough Again

Jun 27, 2016
Adam Moss / Creative Commons

Some Western Illinois University employees will have to take more unpaid days off as the school tries to cope with a drastic decrease in state aid.

This spring, Western imposed furloughs on non-negotiated staff earning more-than 40-thousand dollars. They had to take those days off between April and June.

ISU Actuarial Program Receives Award

Jun 16, 2016

The Casualty Actuarial Society has chosen Illinois State University to receive one of four CAS University Awards. 24 schools from around the globe competed for the honor.

Creative Commons

A sexual assault case involving the sentencing of a 20-year-old former swim team member at Stanford University has sparked a national soul-searching about the appropriate punishment for rape.

Melissa Schoper

The Unit 5 School board has agreed to an amended budget for the 2015-2016 school year.  The board made some tough choices over the past school year due to the lack of a state budget, including changing school start times beginning this fall. 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

School district superintendents across the state of Illinois are upset with the lack of a state budget again. District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly said unlike some districts, Bloomington schools will open in the fall.

Reilly said if the state doesn't get a budget, the district will get around six million dollars from the state. Reilly said most district money will still come from property tax revenues and federal funds.

WGLT

The new President of Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington says he is happily settled in the new job. Eric Jensen took over last November saying it felt right because the members of the community that he had a chance to meet were dedicated individuals and walking around campus felt like home.

Illinois State University

Think of this as Story Corps for Strangers. Illinois State University has what's called a Human Library. It exposes students to the experiences of people who have endured adversity and stereotypes and shown perseverance in the face of discrimination or social exclusion.

WGLT

School Districts are reviewing their disciplinary codes this summer to prepare for the effect of a new law going into effect with the new school year in the fall.

Marci Pritts

Jeff and Marci Pritts will spend the next year with their family in an RV they've named "Someday."

"There's one overwhelming response I think that we get and we have  kind of brought that into our trip a little bit," said Marci. "People often say 'I'd love to do that someday.' For that reason we named the RV 'Someday.' It's kind of a statement that that today can be someday. Just do it."

Creative Commons

As many as 5 million women in the United States are abused by an intimate partner each year with more than 1,500 murdered.

WGLT

Education funding and the state budget standoff continue intertwined with public events designed to ratchet up pressure on opposing sides.

Judith Valente

It's 3:30 in the afternoon -- dismissal time at Colene Hoose Elementary School in Normal - but not for one group of fourth and fifth grade girls. These girls, though, are excited to stay after school.

"They come to school and if I see them in the hallway at 8:40 in the morning, they'll say, 'Mrs. Nelson, it's Heart & Sole Day. I can't wait!' And there's still a whole day in front of them, but they're looking forward to that time together and that means a lot," said fourth grade teacher Maggie Nelson.

Staff / WGLT

School officials are trying to make sure they aren't stung by proposed economic incentives for a $50 million downtown Bloomington hotel project.

The city is studying the feasibility of creating a tax increment financing district, or TIF, where additional property tax revenue in an area is redirected back to the development site instead of going to local taxing bodies.

While District 87 wouldn't be getting any less money than it does now, Superintendent Barry Reilly said the district doesn't want to miss out on that money for the maximum length of a TIF.

Alan Levine / Creative Commons

Illinois’ school funding formula relies heavily on property taxes. That leaves districts with low land values to make do with about six thousand dollars per student each year, while districts with thriving businesses can spend up to five times that amount.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Illinois State University's Board of Trustees formally approved a 3 percent increase in tuition, fees, and room and board at a Trustee's meeting Friday.

For students who are Illinois residents, the increase amounts to an additional $10.78 per credit hour. ISU President Larry Dietz said the increase is necessary because of a $60 million short fall in the university's budget despite an expected infusion of stop gap funds by the state.

Illinois State University

ISU Trustees will consider a three percent tuition hike for incoming students. Fees would also rise by three percent. Room and board would go up one percent.

Autism McLean

It’s hard to get a job when you are autistic. It’s hard to socialize. It’s hard to do many things. Area advocates hope to create more autism friendly places in Bloomington Normal.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

High school students from all across McLean County are taking part in the Youth Global Citizens program. The program allows students to work on goals and events for local organizations such as the Promise Project and Home Sweet Home Ministries. District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly said bringing the program to McLean County this academic year let students open their eyes to the endless possibilities of leadership. Reilly said he is proud young people are volunteering their time to service and philanthropy.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois lawmakers have approved a $600 million short-term funding infusion for higher education institutions that have been struggling financially due to not receiving state money during the state budget impasse.

Illinois State University

Illinois State University has named its new Vice President for Student Affairs. He is Levester Johnson who comes from a similar job at smaller Butler University in Indianapolis.

Staff / WGLT

As part of the general budget planning process Illinois State University goes through every year, the administration offers guidance to Deans and Department Chairs to come up with spending plans.

Autism McLean

Autism Advocacy groups are mounting a challenge to Bloomington Normal businesses to make the twin cities an autism friendly community. MarcFirst and Autism McLean are urging businesses to explore employing people on the spectrum.

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