Cockroaches, mice feces, broken appliances and mold were among the most severe violations found during standard public housing inspections this past year in Champaign County.
Teenage cyberbullies across Illinois might want to think twice before posting anything mean or reckless on social media ever again. Illinois public school administrators now have the authority to demand a student’s social media account password if the school suspects the student of violating a disciplinary rule or policy, thanks to a new law implemented earlier this year.
The number of children receiving free and reduced-cost lunches in Champaign County is on the rise as numbers across the country decline. Of the school districts that reported, more than 51 percent of children in the county are receiving free or reduced cost lunches, up 2 percent from 2014, according to state education data.
The Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Champaign County spent about $6.8 million last year to prepare young children from low-income families for kindergarten. But it is not enough. Although the programs serve nearly 600 children, there are still 230 on the waiting list.
The average yearly amount of taxpayer money funding the highly subsidized federal crop insurance program has more than doubled in just over a decade. From 2003 through 2007, the government spent an average of $3.4 billion per year on crop insurance, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.