United fiinances on rollercoaster ride
United District 304 stands to lose more state aid in the coming year but should get some relief in 2017.
Superintendent Jeff Whitsitt presented information regarding recent financial developments to the school board Thursday, April 14. The governor's proposed budget was circulated earlier in the week and a spreadsheet was released noting who the winning and losing districts would be.
United is one of 240 losers — to the tune of $332,000 — in state aid from this year to next. Thirty-three percent of the districts in Illinois will lose state aid if the budget gains approval.
Whitsitt gave more firm numbers about the increase in tax revenue United can expect due to the Warren County enterprise zone, which will end in December. The board stands to gain around $493,000 at the current levying rate.
"We are very fortunate to have this windfall one year after the hit in state aid," he said.
The board discussed options to address the district’s financial future. Bond issues and a referendum were discussed as items to consider.
Following a closed session, the resignations of Annie Miller as West Campus head cook, Tyler Zumdahl as junior high physical education teacher, and Jenelle Reed as high school English teacher, were accepted. A request of Marci Bertelsen to be moved from full time to half time was approved.
The following were hired: Rachel Haynes as junior high special education, Allison Lafary as pre-kindergarten teacher, Vanessa Witherell as tech-librarian, Courtney Anderson as North Elementary teacher, and Carey Feltmeyer as North Elementary teacher.
All non-certified staff members were rehired and the coaching slate was accepted as presented.
In other business, the board discussed an update to Section 4 of the district's Board Policy Manual. This section deals with transportation and the difficulty with changing drop-off points for students. Whitsitt will seek a legal opinion on policy wording and board members will make a decision in May.
The superintendent received approval to seek bids for fuel and milk for the 2016-2017 school year. The summer busing program for the high school Boost Program was approved. The Boost funding comes entirely from the program itself.
Whitsitt distributed Section 5 of the Board Policy Manual, which deals with personnel. A discussion will be held at the May meeting.
The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. May 10 in the unit office.