INSIDE THIS EDITION
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Dr. Arvid C. Johnson
Mr. Christopher A. Kosel
Mr. Kevin L. Molloy
Mr. James E. Gast
Mrs. Christine M. Glatz
Mrs. Dee Molinare
Mr. Stephen D. White
Dr. Lawrence A. Wyllie
Mrs. Stacy Holland
MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
This is an update from the Saturday, January 28, 2012 Board Workshop meeting held at Lincoln-Way West. As I wrote to you on Friday, the board workshop is an annual meeting to discuss goals for the next year and to receive an update from me on the financial status of the district.
There were a lot of rumors going around concerning class changes, fee changes, to name a few. I want to give you an update on the items presented at the board workshop and the one item that the board agreed to have placed on the agenda for a first reading at the February 9 board of education meeting.
The district is faced with the possibility of a big reduction in state funding for the 2012-2013 school year. We are looking at making expenditure reductions between $2 –3 million dollars. The district already reduced expenditures by $8 million over the last three years, included in that were reductions in teaching positions, support staff positions and administrator positions.
In preparation for this further decline in revenue from the state we need to look at several options: raising registration fees by $50, reducing graduation credit hours from 22 to 20, beginning with the class of 2012 freshman class. This proposal would not shorten the length of the school day, but would have students take one of their six daily class periods with a study hall.
We have researched the registration fee issue and found that Lincoln-Way is above average in the registration fee area of the schools in the south suburbs, so I am not in favor of the fee increase, but we have to look at different options to give to the board.
The issue of reducing graduation credit hours is not one we are particularly interested in doing either. However we have to look at a variety of options. Through staff reduction, this option would result in approximately $1 million in savings for the first year and more than $5 million in later years.
We are still waiting to hear from the state about the PE waiver for freshmen and sophomores that are athletes. This waiver would allow a student in her/his freshman and sophomore years to waive out of PE during their sport season, as we allow students in the marching bands and ROTC currently. This would give our students more flexibility in their class schedule.
The board has agreed to move forward and place for a first reading on the board agenda for the February 9, 2012 meeting the following:
1. A change in the elective requirements: Currently students have to have 22 total credits to graduate, which includes 20 required credits and two elective credits. We would change two of the required credits and make them elective, one credit of fine arts and one credit of career and technical education, giving us 18 required and 4 electives which still gives our students 22 credits for graduation. Illinois school code requires students to take one class from the three areas; fine arts, career and technical education; and world language. We are not eliminating fine arts or career and technical education, they become electives for students to take.
In addition, the board will also take formal action at the February 9, 2012 board meeting to adjust the cost of zero hour courses and summer school courses by lowering the cost of zero hour from $500 to $350 and increasing the cost of summer school from $330 to $350 per class.
Many of our community members stated they wanted to help Lincoln-Way by writing to their state legislative representatives about supporting education funding. We thank you for that. Our next move, as I stated on Saturday, is to wait and listen to what Governor Quinn will say about education funding on Wednesday. We need to know what exactly the issues in education funding are before we know what to ask for. As I said in Friday’s eNewsletter, education funding for the students at Lincoln-Way and in Illinois is changing.
I want to thank all of the community members that took the time to come out on Saturday to hear the facts of the issues. The Board of Education and I appreciate all your support.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 815-462-2130 if you have any questions. Please check the Lincoln-Way Website for any update of information or watch for an additional eNewsletter to keep you up to date on this funding issue.
The information from the board workshop, all the budget examples, etc. is posted on our website under the tab Board of Education, see 2012-2013 Mid Year Financial Update. Thank you for reading this eNewsletter. Our goal is to offer timely, accurate information about your schools in a quick, easy-to-read format, in a financially viable way.
Dr. Lawrence A. Wyllie