Warning system not yet in place at PBL

When Paxton-Buckley-Loda's high school and junior high went into lockdown and students were evacuated Monday, administrators updated the district's Web site with news of the situation.

However, the district wasn't able to use a parent notification system that the school board approved at its November meeting.

Black girls meet to discuss interests and issues

URBANA – When Sheri Lewis started a discussion about stereotypes, the University of Illinois student started with the word itself.

Do you know what it means? she asked a group of black girls.

Students' bags searched in wake of ammunition find

PAXTON – Officials from the Ford County sheriff's department and Paxton and Gibson City police departments searched students' bags and used metal detectors this morning at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School.

A Champaign County search dog also was on hand to monitor students the day after ammunition was found at the school.

Ammunition find leads to evacuation of two schools

PAXTON – Ammunition found at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School led to an emergency lockdown and evacuation of the high school and neighboring junior high this morning.

PBL Superintendent Cliff McClure said both schools went into a Code Red lockdown at 10:15 a.m. for precautionary safety reasons after an undisclosed amount of ammunition was found at a time and location not being released.

Urbana board to hear update on busing, cleaning, food

URBANA – Without clean buildings, food in the cafeteria and kids getting to and from school on time, chaos might reign in Urbana schools.

On Tuesday, the people and businesses responsible for those tasks will have an opportunity to talk about all that they do in an update to Urbana school board members.

Villa Grove doing its best to attract and keep top educators

VILLA GROVE – If you think Molly Hartke is struggling to make ends meet in her first year of teaching first grade at Villa Grove, think again.

She applied for several jobs after graduating from Bradley University in May. She found out roughly how much the Villa Grove job paid during her June interview and compared it to salaries in other districts after asking around.

UI autism facility expands; new center planned in Charleston

When the diagnosis came, Connor O'Donnell's parents weren't terribly surprised.

At age 3, their son still couldn't talk. Communication was difficult. They suspected a hearing problem, but tests showed his hearing was perfect.

Officials reveal proposed Unit 7 tax levy

TOLONO – School officials unveiled a tentative $5.54 million tax levy for the upcoming year on Wednesday and plan to approve it in December.

Superintendent Michael Shonk said Wednesday the tentative levy would be about 2.6 percent higher than the current $5.4 million extension.

Antioch to provide option to suspended students

DANVILLE – Certain suspended students in the Danville school district have another alternative to serving their suspension at home.

This fall, Antioch Family Life Center officials opened their doors to provide tutoring and mentoring to third- through eighth-graders who have been suspended for the first time.

Panel discusses inequality in school funding

CHAMPAIGN – In terms of money, Illinois schools are among the most inequitable in the country, and state government needs to shake up the funding structure.

That's according to former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar and former University of Illinois President Stanley Ikenberry, who spoke on the politics and public policy of school finance at a Thursday lecture hosted by both the UI College of Law and the Institute for Government and Public Affairs.