Solar prospects not looking bright for School District

Solar prospects not looking bright for School District

By CHRIS BEST

Enquirer~Democrat contributor

Negotiations for the proposed solar contract for the Carlinville Community Unit School District No. 1 are not going well according to Superintendent Becky Schuchman.

When questioned by School Board President Dan Kallal at Monday’s meeting, Schuchman cited the high termination values of the currently proposed contract which leave a higher liability for the district than Schuchman and the district lawyers are comfortable with. The investment company has, so far, been unwilling to alter these terms. “It’s not an anti-solar thing, it’s just making sure the district is protected in 20-25 years,” Schuchman said. If the district is unable to greatly reduce this liability, it will not accept the contract. While negotiations are still ongoing, it is unlikely that an agreement will be reached in the near future.

Also during the Sept. 9 School Board meeting, the Sixth Day Enrollment Figures for 2019 were reviewed. The enrollment figures for this year showed 549 in Elementary (93  kindergarteners, 87 first graders, 86 in second graders, 92 third graders, 97 fourth graders and 94 fifth graders), 327 in Middle School (107 sixth graders, 123 seventh graders and 97 eighth graders) and 448 in High School (111 Freshmen, 119 Sophomore, 120 Juniors and 98 Seniors) for a total of 1,324 students. These figures are used to show the year to year growth and decline of enrollment in the school district. It is also used to help determine staffing needs. Though some years have shown more student enrollment than the year prior, the trend since 1998’s total enrollment of 1,668 students has been fairly consistently downward.

The Board also reviewed the Site-Based Expenditures Report for Fiscal Year 2019. Based on  an averaged total of 1,393.5 students, the per pupil expenditure for the District was $8,752.51 for fiscal year 2019. Of this total, $528.30 came from federal funding, while the remaining $8,224.22 was state or locally funded. For just the High School, the per pupil expenditure was $8,485.44, the Middle School’s was $8,637.20, the Intermediate School’s was $8,045.08, the Primary School’s was $9,661.01. The kindergarten per pupil cost was $7,463.98 and Pre-Kindergarten was $10,957.89.

Actions

The resignations of Ron Hallbauer as a bus driver and Tammy Easterday as the Middle School Boys’ Basketball Assistant Coach were accepted.

The following hires were approved: Karen Rosentreter as the pre-kindergarten teacher; Vicki Joiner as a lunchroom supervisor for High School and Middle School and Title Paraprofessional at the Middle School; Kathleen Sanson as a Title Paraprofessional at the Intermediate School; Kelli Sronce as a High School and Middle School cafeteria staff member; Heather Colbert as a math interventionist and secretary at the Intermediate School; Cyleah Thacker as as a substitute bus driver and monitor; Robert Scott as head wrestling Coach; Josh Boston and Ryan Kleeman as volunteer assistants for football and Elizabeth Kelly as a volunteer assistant for girls’ basketball.

Surplus items, including old textbooks and outdated technology, were approved to be sold or destroyed.

The 2019-2020 Board Retreat date was established for Monday, Oct. 28, 2019 at 6 p.m.

The board will next meet on Monday, September 23 at 6:45 p.m. at Carlinville High School for a public hearing on the fiscal year 2020 budget, followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m.