Statewide: Kicking The Can Down The Road On Pensions?; Giving Wannabe Teachers A Shot

Apr 25, 2019

Gov. J.B. Pritzker's budget proposal would allow the state to spend more on pressing needs.  But that investment would come at a cost: shorting the state's already underfunded public pension systems.  We talk with the author of an analysis about what impact that would have for the future. 

And, with the state's teacher shortage worsening, what can be done to get people who aspire to be teachers into those classrooms?  In many cases, those individuals are already working at schools as paraprofessionals.  We'll meet one.    

Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.

* Daisy Contreras talks with former lawmaker Daniel Biss and activist and artist Glenance Green about their new podcast called IL-informed.

* WNIJ's Peter Medlin updates efforts to reduce college completion gaps. 

* Susan Stephens of WNIJ attends the Golden Heart ceremony at the Northern Illinois University School of Business honoring two victims of a recent workplace shooting.  

* Dusty Rhodes visits with a paraprofessional who has found it's a difficult road to becoming a full time teacher.  

* Lee Gaines of Illinois Newsroom tells us about efforts to "ban the box" on college application forms.  

* Jaclyn Driscoll reports on the state's marijuana industry and the lack of diversity.

* Daisy Contreras interviews Amanda Kass, the Associate Director of the Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Kass analyzed Gov. J.B. Pritzker's budget plan that would reduce the state's share of public pension contributions.

* WVIK's Michelle O'Neill gives us details on plans to change the National Flood Insurance Program, and what it means for premiums.  

Statewide, which brings you reports and conversations from in and around Illinois, is a production of NPR Illinois with help from other Illinois public radio stations.  Find all our episodes online at 

Listen to Statewide across Illinois: 

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  • Carbondale – WSIU 91.9 (Sundays 6-7 a.m.)
  • Mount Vernon - WVSI 88.9 (Sundays 6-7 a.m.)
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  • Rockford/DeKalb – WNIJ 89.5 (Saturdays 6-7 a.m., Sundays 6-7 p.m.)
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  • Peoria – WCBU 89.9 (Fridays 6-7 p.m.)
  • Pittsfield - WIPA 89.3 (Fridays 11 a.m. - Noon, 11 p.m. - Midnight, Saturdays 9-10 a.m.)
  • Urbana/Champaign – WILL 580 (Fridays 11 a.m. - Noon, 7-8 p.m.)