Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tentative agreement reached in North Boone School District - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

 

The agreement was announced at a public forum the NBEA held for parents and students Wednesday night.
The tentative agreement appears to be a victory for the teachers, who will meet Friday to ratify the contract.
The tentative contract contains no merit pay and no two-tier salary schedule, which the teachers opposed. It does include a "just cause" clause dealing with possible dismissals, a feature the teachers supported.

Tentative agreement reached in North Boone School District - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

Rock Valley College, airport deal to boost aerospace cluster - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

 

airport would build the college a 40,000-square-foot classroom building to replace the 9,800-square-foot Falcon Road Center it leases from the airport. The college would sign a 20-year ground lease, with four 10-year renewal options, for the larger facility. The airport would provide exterior property management at the site.
Rock Valley's two-year program produces fewer than 50 graduates a year. Airport officials want 150 graduates annually within three years to serve the potential MRO.
Rock Valley will also broaden its curriculum to include avionics, composites and nondestructive testing to support careers in the aeronautics industry.
Rock Valley trustees are scheduled to approve the lease proposal at a 6 p.m. board meeting in Room 117-121 of the RVC Woodward Technology Center, 3301 N. Mulford Road. Follow reporter Isaac Guerrero on Twitter - @isaac_rrs - during the meeting.

Read the entire article by clicking on the following:  Rock Valley College, airport deal to boost aerospace cluster - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BDR Facebook: North Boone Teachers set strike date; pack school board meeting

 

Teachers set strike date; pack school board meeting

By Bob Balgemann
Reporter


"… creates a two-tier salary schedule that substantially limits the lifetime earnings of new teachers," officials said. "It would take 32 years for a teacher to reach the top salary of $74,258.38, on the schedule the board proposes for new teachers."
Compare that with the contract that expired June 30, 2013, under which teachers are still working. That had a top salary of $84,130.85 that would be reached after 20 years of work. In Belvidere Community Unit School District 100, the top salary is $93,088, which is reached after 18 years' service.
As part of the two-tier arrangement, association officials claim the district is proposing flat amount raises for 98 percent of the current staff.

 

Read further by going to this story on BDR Facebook:   Belvidere Daily Republican

Monday, February 24, 2014

Community Action Agency 2014 Scholarship Available

February 21, 2014
Phone: 815-987-5711
E-mail: owen.carter@rockfordil.gov
Community Action Agency
2014 Scholarship Applications Available
ROCKFORD
– Applications are now available for the 2014 Scholarship Program sponsored by the City of Rockford Human Services Department, A Community Action Agency. Applicants must have household income below 125% of the federal poverty level, reside in Winnebago or Boone County, and plan on attending a post secondary accredited school or training program located in the state of Illinois in the fall of 2014. There is no age requirement. The average scholarship award is $1,000 with multiple awards available. The financial assistance is paid directly to the institution for direct costs of tuition and textbooks.
Applications, which include more detailed eligibility information, are available on the City of Rockford website at www.rockfordil.gov/human-services.aspx under Community and Neighborhood Programs/Community Action tab, or at the office of the City of Rockford Human Services Department, at 555 N. Court St., Suite 301. Completed applications and supporting documents must be received at this office no later than 4:00pm, Friday, March 28th, 2014. Selected candidates will be contacted for an interview.
The scholarships are funded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity through the Community Services Block Grant.

Friday, February 21, 2014

How much do top administrators make in Wisconsin?

Click on the photocopy to enlarge:

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The above is taken from Milwaukee Journal Online at:  http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/dataondemand/33534649.html?appSession=87292301332227&RecordID=&PageID=2&PrevPageID=1&cpipage=2&CPISortType=&CPIorderBy=

Boone County 10-car pileup causes students to miss school - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

 

No one was injured, although several cars were towed away from the scene.
Authorities said strong blowing and drifting snow caused the accident. WREX Meteorologist Joe Astolfi reported near white-out conditions at times and recommended drivers use caution.
Belvidere Central Middle School and Belvidere North High School students living near Caledonia and Dawson Lake roads are excused from school today because bus drivers cannot pick up students, according to the district's Facebook

Click on the following for more details:  Boone County 10-car pileup causes students to miss school - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

Belvidere looking to add Rock Valley College dual credit program at high schools - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

By Susan Vela
Rockford Register Star

This program would aim to have district teachers properly certified to teach RVC classes at Belvidere North High School. Students could earn a few credits here and there in several subjects that include math, business, history and English.
"We still have a lot of intermediate steps," Houselog said. "But I think they are all very doable. There's a lot of logistical things, too. We want to talk with our management (and) our labor groups and make sure they're on board with it."
Kendra Asbury of the Belvidere Education Association laid out some concerns:
"I just hope that their planning includes long-term planning with our current staff in mind," she said. "I'm also really interested in all the opportunities for our students. I'm more interested in the number of students that this would apply to. If we have a successful (Advanced Placement) program, I would hate to see a loss in numbers there."

Click on the following for the entire story:  Belvidere looking to add Rock Valley College dual credit program at high schools - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

Former police chief files civil rights lawsuit against NIU - Northern Star Online: Campus

 

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Kelly Bauer

Don Grady, the NIU Police Department's former chief, has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Board of Trustees and former NIU President John Peters, among others. The lawsuit came only two days after deputy police chief Darren Mitchell was put on paid administrative leave.

The lawsuit alleges Grady, whose employment was terminated in February 2013, was fired "in a manner substantially more aggressive, onerous and injurious than for Caucasian employees charged with more serious misconduct..." and levels counts of racial discrimination, retaliation, denial of procedural due process and denial of substantive due process.

Grady wants to be reinstated with back wages, damages and a public apology, according to the lawsuit…

….According to Grady’s notice of termination, he was dismissed because “of the failure of the NIU Police Department of Public Safety (the ‘Department’) to disclose and turn over exculpatory ‘Brady’ evidence in the case of The People of the State of Illinois vs. Andrew Rifkin” and because of a “failure to appropriately supervise the Department.”

The officer who allegedly misplaced the statements, Lt. Kartik Ramakrishnan, successfully appealed his termination and was reinstated, settling out of court. He resigned as part of that deal.

Grady has compared his firing with the punishments leveled against white NIU employees who faced charges in the Coffee Fund, a bank account in which NIU employees kept proceeds from selling university-owned scrap metal.

Former police chief files civil rights lawsuit against NIU - Northern Star Online: Campus

Mr. Grady is seeking a jury trial.  The allegations as well as Mr. Grady’s employment contract is available at:  http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/northernstar.info/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/20/52094c44-9ab2-11e3-88be-0017a43b2370/5306df0646db7.pdf.pdf

Deputy police chief placed on paid leave as state police investigate - Northern Star Online: Campus

Kelly Bauer | @BauerJournalism Northern Star

Darren Mitchell, NIU’s deputy police chief, has been placed on paid administrative leave as the Illinois state police investigate a potential “discrepancy” in his work.

NIU Police Chief Tom Phillips said he “came across some discrepancies” late last week and spoke with Bill Nicklas, vice president of Public Safety and Community Relations, Monday morning. Mitchell was then placed on paid administrative leave.

Phillips said he reached out to the state police to investigate for “transparency and objectivity.”

“[I thought the] best measure to move forward was to have an internal investigation,” Phillips said.

Phillips said the alleged discrepancy was only related to one instance, but declined to comment as to what instance that was.

Click on the following for more details:  Deputy police chief placed on paid leave as state police investigate - Northern Star Online: Campus

DEKALB, Ill.: Ex-NIU police chief sues school in federal court | Illinois News | News Democrat

 

The former police chief at Northern Illinois University is suing the school, saying he wants to be reinstated to his post and get an apology from administrators.

Donald Grady, who is black, filed the federal civil rights lawsuit Wednesday, saying he was fired without being given a fair hearing and was treated differently than white employees who were implicated in a scheme to use proceeds from off-the-books sales of scrap metal.

He's also asking for back pay for his $205,000-a-year salary, according to a report (http://bit.ly/1p0vvqd ) by the (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle.

Grady was fired from the post in February 2013 after being accused of mishandling evidence in an investigation into allegations that a campus police officer sexually assaulted a student. The FBI searched the school's police station last year and seized documents related to the department. Grady has denied the accusation.

Click on the following for more of the story:   DEKALB, Ill.: Ex-NIU police chief sues school in federal court | Illinois News | News Democrat

Mr. Grady is seeking a jury trial.  The allegations as well as Mr. Grady’s employment contract is available at:  http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/northernstar.info/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/20/52094c44-9ab2-11e3-88be-0017a43b2370/5306df0646db7.pdf.pdf

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

University Of Illinois-Chicago Faculty Stage 2-Day Strike For First Time In Campus History

 

More than 1,000 University of Illinois at Chicago faculty walked off the job Tuesday kicking off a two-day strike for the first time in campus history.

Classes for hundreds of students were cancelled Tuesday and Wednesday while others taught by graduate and teaching assistants, who are covered by a separate union, went ahead as scheduled.

Organizers told the Tribune the limited two-day action of rallies and picket lines around campus is intended to engage the administration over an ongoing contract dispute "without creating a drawn-out disruption to the education of UIC's 27,500 students."

Read the entire story by clicking on the following:  University Of Illinois-Chicago Faculty Stage 2-Day Strike For First Time In Campus History

Monday, February 17, 2014

BNHS yearbook named Best in State

Belvidere North High School's 2013 Equus yearbook recently placed first in the Best Overall Yearbook category in the Illinois Journalism Education Association's annual yearbook contest.

In addition to being named best in its division (school enrollment between 1238 and 2059), the 2013 Equus placed first in three individual categories:  Best Copy Writing, Best Divider Pages, and Best Use of Photography.  It also took third place in Best Layout and Design and Sports Coverage and received honorable mention in Best Graphics.  Co-editors were Kim Seger and Rachel Tripp.

This is the second top honor for the 2013 edition of the Equus which also received first place honors in the Kettle Moraine Press Association's yearbook competition this past fall.

BNHS yearbook named Best in State

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

North Boone Educational Association Airs Issues with District - MyStateline.com - Powered by WTVO-TV and WQRF-TV

 

Teachers voiced off about the district's so-called "merit-pay", as well as their demand for a two-tier salary schedule for new hires, which they say would create a class system among teachers.
They also discussed the "Just Cause" disciplinary system, which they call unfair.
"They're being written up for things they have no evidence of. Somebody supposedly said something about you and next thing you know you have a letter in your file. Or somebody accuses you of doing something but there's absolutely no proof, yet you have a letter of discipline in your file," explained Kelly Hanaman, president of the North Boone Education Association.
Last week teacher union members gave full authority to their bargaining team to set a strike date by a 97% margin

North Boone Educational Association Airs Issues with District - MyStateline.com - Powered by WTVO-TV and WQRF-TV