ProPublica’s Midwest newsroom and the Chicago Tribune investigate how the pandemic exposed inequities in the state’s education system and officials’ failure to provide information about its toll.
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.
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.
In letters to parents of special education students, some Illinois school districts are asking them to accept scaled-back remote learning plans or waive their rights to “free appropriate public education.”
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.
Despite encouragement from Illinois education officials to have remote e-learning plans, many school districts scrambled to design them before the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to close.
While educators promote online learning as coronavirus spreads, some Illinois students aren’t equipped with the broadband to even notice.
With schools closed because of coronavirus, students are expected to learn remotely. But what happens when your school district doesn’t have the internet access to keep you in school? Here’s one district’s paper trail.