Archive - Midwest

The Pandemic Hasn’t Stopped This School District From Suing Parents Over Unpaid Textbook Fees

When the pandemic started, several school districts in Indiana halted a long-standing practice: suing families for unpaid textbook fees. But one school district has filed nearly 300 lawsuits against parents, and others also have returned to court.

Pistols, a Hearse and Trucks Playing Chicken: Why Some Voters Felt Harassed and Intimidated at the Polls

Across the country, people complained about threats, aggressive electioneering and racist language both at early voting locations and on Election Day. We’ve corroborated some of those accounts.

The Way Prisoners Flag Guard Abuse, Inadequate Health Care and Unsanitary Conditions Is Broken

Prisoners rely on grievances as an early-warning system for dangerous conditions, from poor medical care to abuse. But in Illinois, experts say the system is sputtering, with little oversight, resulting in injuries to prisoners.

States With Few Coronavirus Restrictions Are Spreading the Virus Beyond Their Borders

Lax states are attracting shoppers and students from stricter neighbors — and sending back COVID-19 cases. The imbalance underscores the lack of a national policy.

The Stolen Childhood of Teenage Factory Workers

Immigrant teenagers who work overnight shifts in suburban factories dream of a better life for children they don’t yet have. So did the author’s father.

La niñez robada de obreros adolescentes

Inmigrantes menores de edad que hacen turnos nocturnos en fábricas suburbanas sueñan con una vida mejor para hijos que todavía no tienen. El padre de la autora hizo lo mismo.

National Ban on School Use of Seclusion and Restraint of Students Introduced in Congress

Congressional Democrats introduced legislation to ban schools from using physical restraints that can restrict students’ breathing, and from using isolated timeout. ProPublica and the Chicago Tribune last year revealed the harms of these practices.

El mundo secreto de los adolescentes inmigrantes que trabajan en peligrosos turnos nocturnos en fábricas suburbanas

Durante el día, inmigrantes menores de edad van a la secundaria. Por la noche, trabajan en fábricas para pagar deudas del viaje y mandar dinero a sus familias. El trabajo infantil no sorprende a las autoridades. Tampoco están haciendo mucho sobre el tema.

Inside the Lives of Immigrant Teens Working Dangerous Night Shifts in Suburban Factories

During the day, immigrant teenagers attend high school. At night, they work in factories to pay debts to smugglers and send money to family. The authorities aren’t surprised by child labor. They’re also not doing much about it.

New Data Shows the Use of Seclusion and Restraint Increased in Illinois Schools During the 2017–18 School Year

As lawmakers prepare to debate a statewide ban on seclusion and restraint, Illinois schools reported using seclusion — the practice of forcibly isolating a student in a small room or other space — at least 10,776 times in the 2017–18 school year.

Disinvested: How Government and Private Industry Let the Main Street of a Black Neighborhood Crumble

A half-century after Chicago’s uprisings in 1968, a once-thriving retail strip in East Garfield Park still suffers from broken promises, bad policy and neglect.

Out of Jail and Back in School, Grace Finds Her Voice

“Your past does not define you,” Grace said in her first public event. The Michigan teen’s case sparked national outrage and the #FreeGrace campaign after she was sent to juvenile detention for not completing online schoolwork.

The Questionable Line Items of Illinois’ COVID-19 Spending

We thought you should know more about how your taxpayer dollars are being spent. Use our look-up tool to examine COVID-19 spending in Illinois.

Grenades, Bread and Body Bags: How Illinois Has Spent $1.6 Billion in Response to COVID-19 So Far

Fighting — and adapting to — the coronavirus in Illinois has been costly. So far, state agencies have spent more than $1.6 billion in federal and state COVID-19 funding since late March, buying everything from face masks to Subway sandwiches.

Illinois Will Start Sharing Data About COVID-19 Outbreaks in Schools

As educators and parents assess the risk of returning to the classroom, some felt frustrated by the lack of public data about COVID-19 in schools. After a ProPublica and Chicago Tribune investigation, the state will start publishing the data.

Cleveland Hospitals’ Private Police “Border Patrol” Comes Under Scrutiny

Local elected officials and the NAACP are calling for tougher supervision of private police forces, including one run by the Cleveland Clinic, after ProPublica found that these officers disproportionately arrest Black people.

ProPublica to Launch New Regional Units in the South and Southwest; ProPublica Illinois to Expand to Midwest Regional Newsroom

Nonprofit Newsroom Also Launches Distinguished Fellows Program to Support Local Investigative Journalism

Illinois Has Had COVID-19 Outbreaks in 44 Schools but Won’t Say Where They’ve Occurred

More children are testing positive for COVID-19 than they were between March and mid-August, when schools shut down. As parents weigh the safety of in-person learning, Illinois has not published information about the virus’s spread in schools.

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