Carlinville school district makes reductions

Carlinville school district makes reductions

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The state of Illinois’ erratic financial and budget woes are significantly affecting how school districts, including Carlinville, can keep expenditures at a minimum.

Mike Kelly, superintendent of schools for Carlinville, last night presented a list of recommended reductions, including not renewing the contracts of two pre-kindergarten teachers, three instructional aides and reducing cafeteria personnel.

Kelly said the cuts are being made in the event that if the state cannot get its act together and start getting funding to the schools, the district will be prepared.

“The proposed reductions are not reductions that will in any way improve the services we provide children in Carlinville – they are all harmful,” Kelly said. “There’s nothing easy about these reductions. By doing what we’re doing tonight, in a worse case scenario, we’ve given ourselves room to restructure,” Kelly said. “We have to prepare for rough roads ahead.”

Among other proposed cuts include seeking to eliminate all transportation costs related to all extra-curricular events; reducing supply purchases district wide by five percent; eliminating a building principal; eliminating van/bus purchases and seeking savings in the selection of replacements for retiring employees.

In the case of eliminating a building principal, one of the principals will oversee two of the grade levels. Dr. Becky Schuchman, current principal of the Carlinville Intermediate School, will become Superintendent of Schools on July 1, so that position will likely be filled by one of the other current principals in the district.

The state has not sent out its renewal or application for the pre-k program, Kelly said. So by cutting the teachers in this program at this time, it will give the district some time to figure out what the district can or cannot offer.

“We need time to evaluate what we can and cannot offer,” Kelly said. “I say we eliminate it tonight. Does that mean we can never think about bringing it back? No, we should strive to bring it back and we will bring back some form of it, I believe.”

But with the state unsure about how much they will fund, the district has to prepare for possible changes that lie ahead, Kelly said.

“We’re buying time to get a better picture of what will happen,” Kelly said. “There’s a chance we will get no better picture at all. We’re hoping for a better picture, but we might not.”

Thus, the board approved a resolution authorizing the non-renewal of first-year probationary teachers, Melissa Frey and Karen Rosentrater.

“These are first-year probationary teachers,” Kelly said. “I want everyone to know that our recommendation tonight is not based on performance. It is not reflective of performance and should not be assumed so.”

Kelly also said that the proposed reductions are not being done in order to balance the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. He said that the recommended actions will enable the district to control the use of the Debt Service Extension Base in maintaining educational services to children.

Technology update

Schuchman announced the proposed 2017-18 technology recommendations for next year, going with Plan B, which is around $56,000 cheaper than going with Plan A.

Plan B will deploy Chromebooks to those students in grades four through eight. Those in grades nine through 12 will begin Bring  Your Own Device to school starting next year, whether it be a smart phone, a tablet or computer.


The board approved a motion to join a lawsuit with Chicago-based law firm Depres, Schwartz and Geoghegan, Ltd against the Illinois Board of Education.

The firm argued that a 1996 Illinois Supreme Court decision Committee for Educ. Rights vs. Edgar is not fulfilling its financial costs associated with implementing its own standards.

The firm is looking for 10 school districts, paying $1,000 retainer fee, to enter into such a lawsuit. The firm believes it can have up to 20 schools join.

“We need to be proactive at least to make them acknowledge us,” Kelly said.

Other business

The board approved Carlinville High School’s membership with the Illinois High School Association for 2017-18.

The board also approved purchasing commercial, workers comp, data security and additional mine subsidence insurance from Dimond Brothers Insurance for a fee of $192,813.

Also approved was the HACCP plan for the district, which is the food safety plan.


The board approved a motion to accept the resignation of Michael Graham as a van/bus driver and Kara Harris as an instructional aide effective May 31.

The employment of Floyd Watson as van/bus driver effective March 13 and Erica Gibbel as Carlinville High School cheerleading sponsor for 2017-18 were approved.

A motion to re-employ fourth year probationary teachers for 2017-18 was approved. They included Michael Morrison, Erin Bates, Katie Nappier, Dustin White, Renee Young, Ryan Pirok, Amanda Frankford, Joan Hartley, Tim Johnson, Ashley Hayes, Jason Crowell and Ginger Whitworth. This will award tenure to the above teachers effective in August.

Also approved was a motion to re-employ non-tenured teachers for 2017-18, including Julie White, Paige Vinyard, Dawn Peterson, Maureen Wise, Lexi Bilbruck, Shay Kellerman, Christopher Maly, Tegan Clinton, Michelle Schmidt, Marissa Rosentreter, Danlee Whitler and Stacey Steiner.

The district monthly spotlight featured members of the WYSE and Math Team at Carlinville High School, both of whom won regional titles recently.

cutline: Members of the WYSE team at Carlinville High School, regional champions, honored by the Carlinville Board of Education Monday night, front row, from left, are: Emily Smith, Ava Armour, Grace Hulin, Megan Passalacqua, Karly Ambuel, Natalie Kaganich, Taylor Wills, Amanda Healy. Back row: Robert Wiggins, Tyler Behme, Andrew DeNeve, Meghan Woods, Zeke Gray, Emma Griffith, Rachel Strubbe, Samantha Park, Maggie Ratcliff, Grayson Armour. Not pictured: Ryan Bowman, Seth Evans, Jack Kufa, Lucas Mefford, Dayse Velesquez.

Members of the Carlinville High School Math team, regional champions, honored by the Carlinville Board of Education Monday night, front row, from left, are: Robert Wiggins, Grace Hulin, Megan Passalacqua, Ali Hurley, Amanda Healy, Taylor Wills, Samantha Park, Rachel Koebbe. Middle row: Paul Kibe, Cora Gray, Ava Armour, Karly Ambuel, Natalie Kaganich, Sarah DeNeve, Olivia Oswald, Maggie Ratcliff. Back row: Colton DeLong, Tyler Behme, Andrew DeNeve, Zeke Gray, Logan Rosentreter, Emma Griffith, Grayson Armour. Not pictured: Ryan Bowman, Michael Douglas, Adin Fleischer, Collin Gibbel, Lucas Mefford.