Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Common Core Debate

NPR's Intelligence Squared, U.S. Debates Podcast program recently took up the debate of "Should schools embrace the common core?".  Hear the argument for both side of the issue here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mizzou offering early retirements to lower payroll expenses

Mizzou is offering early retirement incentives to a group of employees in order to reduce payroll costs and generate additional funds for other purposes.  Click here to read the article.

Teacher's Strike Ends With New Contract

After a six day strike that closed schools and sent working parents scrambling to find alternative options for childcare, the Highland Board of Education and the teacher's union, the Highland Education Association, came to an agreement on Thursday to end the walkout.  Click here for the full article.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Is relief on the way for our schools?

An unexpected surplus of Illinois' income tax revenue may provide a means for the state to pay for its backlog of unpaid debts.  Hopefully our schools are considered when these debts are reviewed and prioritized   Click here for the full article.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Illinois House votes for referendum to eliminate office of lieutenant governor

The Illinois legislature could be voting to eliminate the lieutenant governor's office, saving taxpayers $2M annually starting in 2019. Click here to view article.

Monday, April 22, 2013

School Board Meeting: April 22, 2013

The April school board meeting was held tonight at 7:30 pm. My notes on the meeting are as follows (these are not official meeting minutes)
The mission statement was read and a public hearing discussion was held regarding attendance on Lincoln's birthday and Casimir Pulaski Day. There was no public comment on the topic and the hearing was closed.
No visitors requested to address the board.
The agenda was posted on the School Board website.
Roofing repairs at the high school was discussed. $50k for product, labor provided by school employees. Roof leaks with the recent storm were handled and no surprise leaks were discovered. Warranty expired many years ago. Roof replacement would be significantly more at $14/sq ft vs. $2.50/sq ft.
Mike Sutton stated that a special board meeting will be held one week from tonight to seat new board members. They will also be interviewing candidates for the seat vacated by Mr. Basden. Rene Friedel spoke to Mark Hosto and Chris English regarding their departures from the board. Mike gave his thanks for their service.
New business was discussed: changes to the handbook were adopted; personnel changes; holiday schedule; meal prices for next year (increase by $.10 lunch, $.05 breakfast) with additional increases potentially each year by $.10 until reaching an amount suggested by the state; bus company increasing pricing to cover fixed costs after route changes are implemented, but a $300k savings should be realized; latchkey program rate increases (amount they pay in rental costs to school), a plan formulated to increase their fees gradually to reach an amount they should be paying; grant paperwork being submitted; surveillance equipment discussed for schools.
Executive session was called.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

New Douglas, Grantfork again named as Honor Roll Schools

Our area schools shine as examples of excellence.  Click here to read the Highland News Leader article.