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 Tuesday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2014. There are 106 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: A fine lumber mill is on the course of erection at Andalusia. A flouring mill at that location is doing a fine business. 1889 — 125 years ago: J.B. Lidders, past captain of Beardsley Camp, Sons of Veterans, returned from Paterson, N.Y., where he attended the National Sons of Veterans encampments. 1914 — 100 years ago: President Wilson announced that he had received from the imperial chancellor of Germany a noncommittal reply to his inquiry into a report that the emperor was willing to discuss terms of peace. 1939 — 75 years ago: Delegates at the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church in Springfield voted to raise the minimum pay of ministers so that every pastor would get at least $1,000 annually. 1964 — 50 years ago: An audience of more than 2,600 persons jammed into the Davenport RKO Orpheum theater with a shoe horn feasted on a Miller-Diller evening that was a killer night. Phyllis Diller sent the audience with her offbeat humor. And send them she did! It was Miss Diller's third appearance in the Quad-Cities area. 1989 — 25 years ago: A few years ago, a vacant lot on 7th Avenue and 14th Street in Rock Island was a community nuisance. Weeds grew as high 18 inches. Today, the lot has a new face, thanks to Michael and Sheila Rind and other neighbors who helped them turn it into a park three weeks ago.