Impact has been at the core of ProPublica’s mission since we launched in 2008, and that’s true for ProPublica Illinois, too. What we mean by impact is that our investigative journalism seeks to do more than expose wrongdoing and injustice; we hope to spark real-world change.
We’ve written a white paper on the topic, and examples of how ProPublica and ProPublica Illinois stories have produced such change — from the resignation of corrupt officials to the passage of new laws — are compiled in our annual reports. On this page, you’ll find stories that show the impact of our work in Illinois.
Four states currently ban the practice of secluding students at school. Illinois lawmakers want Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to make it 50. “This shouldn’t be controversial,” said U.S. Rep. Sean Casten.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation Friday to end license suspensions for unpaid parking tickets, affecting nearly 55,000 Illinois motorists. Lawmakers cited ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ Chicago reporting for leading to the new law.
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.
by Jodi S. Cohen, ProPublica, and Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune
Grace’s story, first published by ProPublica Illinois, prompted outrage and debate across the country. Though a judge refused to set the girl free, the Michigan Court of Appeals ordered her immediate release from a juvenile detention facility in Detroit.
The family of a Bria of Geneva resident who died from the coronavirus in April claims in the lawsuit that the nursing home failed to adequately test residents and staff, and didn’t isolate infected residents in time to protect others.
An anonymous individual donated a dozen internet hotspots. A school district near Chicago is sending Chromebooks. And a superintendent in rural Illinois is stunned by the support to keep his students learning.
by Jodi S. Cohen, ProPublica Illinois, and Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune
After a ProPublica Illinois and Chicago Tribune investigation sparked a statewide ban on some forms of seclusion and restraint of students, a small group of schools lobbied against the measure. And it worked.
In six of eight districts investigators examined, they found that workers broke the law by improperly secluding students. Parents say the investigations, which were prompted by a Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois story, have not gone far enough.
A new lawsuit calls Chicago Lakeshore a “hospital of horrors,” where children as young as 7 were allegedly sexually abused and others were injected with sedatives and physically attacked — all while officials covered it up.
The state board of education said it will refer school workers to law enforcement if they are suspected of committing crimes against children as the emergency ban on seclusion in Illinois public schools goes into effect.
After NPR Illinois and ProPublica found that several University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professors who violated policies were allowed to quietly resign and take paid leave with their reputations intact, lawmakers called for reforms.
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