Moline's withdrawal from the Black Hawk Area Special Education District will mean changes but not closure, according to officials from both districts.
On Monday night, the Moline-Coal Valley School District board approved a number of cost-saving measures. Leaving BHASED in the 2014-2015 school year is expected to save Moline schools about $1 million.
"We're going to educate all of the Moline students that we possibly can in our district," Moline-Coal Valley superintendent David Moyer said.
BHASED includes 14 school districts in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties that share the cost of providing services to students with emotional, cognitive or physical disabilities. For decades, the Moline school district has provided administration for the center; many of its teachers and staff are Moline school district employees.
The loss of Moline's support likely will mean cuts, according to BHASED director Mike Weger. It's too early to know the extent and nature of those cuts, he said, but they will not include closure.
Moline's assistant superintendent Christina Denman echoed that sentiment, saying the remaining school districts and BHASED officials will have to determine how to administer the center after Moline leaves. Moline traditionally has handled BHASED's hiring, payroll and overview of curriculum, she said.
Ms. Denman said Moline's withdrawal will mean some district employees will be pulled out of BHASED to work specifically with Moline students. About72 teachers, teacher's aides, support staff and administrators at BHASED's primary center are Moline school district employees, she said. A smaller number are BHASED employees or others brought from outside to handle students' specific needs.
Details of the split were on hold until the board's decision. Now the work turns to determining how many BHASED employees will be brought to the Moline district and how many might stay as BHASED employees or in some other capacity.
Currently 43 Moline students of all ages are participating in BHASED, Mr. Moyer said. Handling services for those students will not require a staff increase, he said. For students requiring services Moline can't provide, the district will work with an outside provider — possibly BHASED — Mr. Moyer said.
"We're committed to ensuring that the center remains in operation," he said. "One way or another, we would have an obligation to meet the needs of those students."
According to Mr. Moyer, Moline school officials now are assessing available space in district buildings, the services currently being provided and the anticipated number — and needs — of students for when it leaves BHASED.
He said Moline schools would not make the move if officials did not think they could provide the services.
Moline also administers a BHASED program for students with significant hearing loss, Mr. Weger said. How Moline's withdrawal will affect those programs are yet to be determined, and Ms. Denman said the district is discussing whether it will continue to oversee that program.
Superintendents from several of the other districts in BHASED on Tuesday either said it was too early to determine the effect of Moline's withdrawal or referred questions to Mr. Weger.
Today is Thursday, Dec. 5, the 339th day of 2013. There are 26 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: A new passenger car has been placed on the Coal Valley railroad, and R.R. Cable is running the trains at present. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The Rev. G.W. Gue preached a convincing sermon on the need of a new First Methodist Church in Rock Island 1913 -- 100 years ago: Dr. W.S. Marquis preached his farewell sermon at Broadway Presbyterian Church to the combined congregations from First Methodist, First Baptist, United Presbyterian and South Park Presbyterian churches. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's mayor is seeking to enforce the rules governing PWA projects in the city which state that local men are to be hired for the work. 1963 -- 50 years ago: The Argus Santa Claus requests that the names of needy Rock Island boys and girls through 12 years of age be registered by parents or guardians from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 11or Dec. 14. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Alcoa and its employee union have reached tentative agreement on a 43-month labor contract covering about 7,500 workers at six plants, including 1,900 employees at Alcoa's Davenport Works, company and union officials said today.