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   On Friday Illinois state education officials will receive the results of a cheating investigation involving Highland Community Unit School District 5.  

   Highland Superintendent Mike Sutton tells KMOV-TV that the month-long investigation determined that a district teacher had helped students who were taking the standardized ISAT test in 2013.  

   The school board on Monday sent the teacher a letter of remedial warning that said in part that 11 students "consistently reported the same actions" by the teacher and since the teacher couldn't explain why the students would fabricate the allegations, the board found the students accounts to be "more credible" than the teacher's.  

   The board is ordering the teacher to undergo additional training and follow the districts policies in order to maintain their job.  

   The teacher still hasn't been identified, but that could change if the state board takes more action on the matter. 

Published in Local News

   A metro-east school district is trying to determine if one of its teachers helped students cheat on state achievement tests last year.  The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Highland Community Unit School District 5 has launched an internal investigation this week.  

   Superintendent Michael Sutton tells the paper they're investigating allegations from some students that point toward "testing irregularity" during administration of the Illinois Standard Achievement Test last school year (2012-13). The teacher under investigation isn't being identified.  

   The district's findings will be submitted to the state Board of Education which will make a final determination.

Published in Local News
Funding for many metro-east schools is nearing "crisis" status. The situation is getting so bad, that state education officials are pleading with state legislators to increase school funding by more than $800 million.

But the budget proposed by Governor Pat Quinn would cut education spending by more than $300 million.

Many Illinois school districts are already operating on deficits after the state failed to fully fund its obligations for the past two years. Virtually every metro-east district is laying off teachers in anticipation of less state funding next year. Some are cutting sports programs and closing schools.

St. Clair County schools superintendent Susan Sarfaty told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that "Districts are no longer cutting fat from their budgets — they’re cutting bone." Sarfaty says "there's no more fat to cut."
Published in Local News
Two more districts have joined the growing list of metro-east school districts that plan to lay off teachers and other staff. Belleville District 118 and Highland Community Unit District 5 both announced staff layoffs Tuesday due to the state's budget shortfall.

District 118 will lay off six teachers and 20 staff members. The state of Illinois owes the district nearly two-million dollars.

In Highland, several teachers are being let go, but the specifics haven't been released.

Earlier this week, officials with Belleville District 201 and the Collinsville School District announced layoffs.
Published in Local News

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