Carlinville School board approves tax levy

Carlinville School board approves tax levy

At Monday’s school board meeting CUSD 1 Business Manager Heather DeNeve presented the finalized 2018 tax levy for the Carlinville school district.

The proposed levy, which the board voted to adopt later during the meeting, is comprised from a $5.195 million total as follows: $3.470 million is allocated for education, $800,000 for operations and maintenance, $340,000 for transportation, $5,000 for working cash, $145,000 for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, $215,000 for Social Security, $80,000 for fire prevention and safety, $15,000 for tort immunity and $125,000 for special education.

The $5.195 million total levy for this year represents a 4.75 percent increase or $235,773 from last year’s $4.96 million. This figure is only the total being asked for; it is still limited by Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (P-TELL) restrictions and may not actually be collected by the district. P-TELL restrictions allow the district to receive no more from the county than the lesser of 5 percent or the Consumer Price Index (urban) which is 2.1 percent this year.

DeNeve compared Carlinville’s current rate of 3.814 percent to other districts in the area. The only other districts in Macoupin County with a lower tax rate are Bunker Hill at 3.754 percent and Staunton at 3.248 percent. The five other districts in the county were all higher, ranging from Gillespie at 4.2 percent to Mt. Olive at 5.2 percent. When compared with numerous other districts in the Springfield and St. Louis Metro-East area, Carlinville’s rate is the lowest, with the closest being Pawnee at 3.969 percent.

During the correspondence portion of the meeting, Rachel Bouillon spoke about her and the district’s involvement with All God’s Children Shall Have Shoes, a statewide charity organization that provides new shoes for children at Christmas time that may not otherwise have the opportunity to receive them. Each year children in participating districts are selected with the assistance of teacher recommendations to take a trip to Famous Footwear in Alton. There they pick out a pair shoes to take home as well as a package of socks and a cookie.

Bouillon became involved with the organization while working for the Bunker Hill School District. She played a major role in bringing the program to Carlinville last year.

“When I came to Carlinville that was one of the first things I wanted to do,” Bouillon said. “So I called Bethany Chapel, who is in charge of the program now, and asked if we could be put on a list to take the Carlinville kiddos down.”

Three weeks later, Chapel contacted Bouillon with the news that the district had been approved to allow 35 children to participate in the program for its first year in Carlinville. Last year’s “shoe day” included only elementary level students from Carlinville, although the 56 students that participated in the program this year were chosen from all grade levels.

“We were very fortunate that Rachel was part of it before and that she brought it here,” Superintendent Dr. Becky Schuchman said of the “shoe day” program.

Funds for the program come from a fall fundraising program held each year in addition to donations from private donors.

Dr. Martha Armour also spoke during correspondence on behalf of the thankful grandmother of a student in the district. The student completed a program funded and run through the Regional Office of Education on a trial basis, which allowed him and one other student to receive their diplomas from Carlinville High School by independently completing online courses from home. “I think that’s why we’re a blue ribbon school,” Dave Rathgeb said. “It makes me proud to be a member of the school board here.”

A resolution to oppose the withdrawal of Nokomis, Pana and Taylorville as Mid-State Member Districts was adopted by the board. Mid-State is made up of 16 school districts that share services to defray costs. An increase of roughly $123,000 would be added to the Carlinville school district alone if the districts were to withdraw.

An updated risk management plan was approved by the board. Changes included update protocol protecting against cyber attacks. The previous plan had not been updated since 2007. Going forward, the board intends to update the plan each year.

Numerous changes in employment were approved by the board. Mary Lauwerens was approved for retirement effective at the end of the 2022-23 school year. The resignations of the following employees were accepted: Dave Staman as full time bus driver; Jason Crowell as the prom co-sponsor; Paige Vinyard as volunteer stage crew manager; Josh Boston as tech assistant; and fall coaches David Schwartz, Clayton Rothe, Charles Helton and Debra Helton as per the collective bargaining agreement.

The following new employees were approved pending successful completion of all testing and required employment documents: Alisha Goodman as pre-kindergarten paraprofessional; Fred Snyder as a substitute bus monitor and driver; and Jacqueline Yingling as a substitute bus monitor and driver.

The following drivers were also hired: Carolyn Carrillo and Laura Kolsto as van drivers and  Jason Shepard and Heather Payne as bus drivers.

Jon Klaus was moved to the facilities and maintenance supervisor position starting at a salary of $55,000.

Stephen Fenton was appointed as a member of the Carlinville Public School Foundation Board of Trustees.

Motions to approve job postings for a 38.7 hours per week maintenance mechanic position and 38.75 hours per week technology assistant position were approved. Additionally, the board agreed to change base salaries for custodial employees from $10.71 per hour to $11.25 per hour.

The board will next meet on Monday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Carlinville High School Media Center.