School district still waiting on state funds

Though the Vandalia School District wont know for another couple months if the state will short the school districts by withholding the final two state funding payments of the fiscal year, Vandalia Superintendent Rich Well isnt holding his breath.

The general consensus among superintendents in the state is that the more we hear about the states budget deficit, the more likely it is that the states school districts wont receive the 23rd and 24th state aid payments, Well said after Tuesdays meeting of the Vandalia Board of Education.

Those final two semi-monthly payments of the year total about $600,000 for the Vandalia district.

All the savings weve worked to get over the past year and a half will be eaten up by this decision, Well said. At least we have a balance to absorb it in our operating accounts. But weve worked so hard to build that up.

Our community stepped up and gave us a clean slate. With that, we built up a savings, but with this one move, we could be back to zero again.

He said he didnt know if the state would notify districts of the decision, or if the state aid checks just wouldnt show up.

Meanwhile, Well said, the districts finances continue to look good. Total revenues through April 15 are at 80 percent of budget for the fiscal year, which ends June 30. Total expenditures are at 74 percent of budget. Among the operating accounts (education, building, transportation and working cash) the district has received 77 percent of its revenues and has spent 73 percent of its budgeted expenses.

Well reported that Todd Zoellick, the U.S. Department of Educations deputy secretarys regional representative in a multi-state Midwest region, visited the Vandalia school district on Tuesday. He met with Well and then toured all school buildings in the district.

After hearing reports from building principals, the board took the following action:

Approved the districts membership in the Illinois High School Association and the Illinois Elementary School Association for the 2008-2009 school year.

Approved an intergovernmental agreement with Bond and Effingham counties for Alternative Educational Programs, New Approach and Focus.

Approved the first reading of the Illinois Association of School Boards policy updates for the district manual.

Approved the transfer of John Stout to teaching history (from physical education) at VCHS.

Approved a joint agreement resolution to hold the Okaw Area Vocational Centers building trades property in trust.

Approved a resolution to purchase real estate for construction of an OAVC building trades house.

Approved the revised articles of a joint agreement for Mid-State Special Education.

Approved a resolution to adopt the revised articles of a joint agreement for Mid-State Special Education.

Approved the Mid-State governing board policies.

Approved a medical leave for non-certified personnel bus driver Sherrie Deutsch.

Approved a maternity leave for VJHS art instructor Jill Boehm.

Approved the resignation of Carl Shreve as VCHS assistant boys basketball coach. He will continue to teach physical education at VJHS.

Following the meeting, Well said that all schools in the district are conducting attendance contests during April. So far, the junior high has recorded a 96 percent attendance rate, while the high school has a rate of 95 percent. At the junior high, the classes are competing with each other for the highest rate. At the high school, students are competing for individual perfect attendance awards.

Its a positive educational situation, Well said. Having higher numbers could help our state aid funding because that is based on average daily attendance. Plus, its getting students in the seats.

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