EM schools operating on deficit until May


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Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2013, 10:22 pm
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By Sarah Hayden, shayden@qconline.com
The East Moline School District needs to make up $300,000, superintendent Kristin Humphries told board members Wednesday night.

Mr. Humphries said the district will be operating in deficit spending until it finds out in May what it will receive in general state aid. He also warned of budget cuts for the 2013-14 school year, noting staffing decisions must be made in March.

"Any staff we cut, we need," he said. "We don't make these decisions lightly. I don't believe we have a lot of fat in our staff right now."

The district will save money when several staff members retire at the end of the school year, he said. Another $20,000 to $25,000 in savings is projected for the district by changing to a cheaper natural gas contract.

Mr. Humphries said results from a staff survey also suggest money could be saved with administrative cuts, fewer substitute teachers and reduced trainings. He said he plans to present the suggestions to the Illinois State Board of Education.

Also on Wednesday, board members voiced concerns about upcoming changes in the Illinois Standard Achievement Test that measures individual student achievement.The percentage of students meeting or exceeding state standards is expected to drop because of higher requirements from the Illinois State Board of Education.

"They are a reflection of raising the bar of achievement for students in Illinois," said school board member Lavonne Peterson. "What's really important to us is how that's going to affect our kids. We are under No Child Left Behind and are required to meet certain standards."

Ms. Peterson said the higher standards will be good for East Moline students, bringing them more in line with others.

In other action, the board tabled a vote on the 2013-14 school calendar. Teachers and parents expressed frustration over the number of half days planned for in-service teacher training, asking board members to consider early out days instead.

"Classes are only 18 minutes long during half-days," said Glenview Middle School teacher Laura Kalman. "We don't have time to collaborate in the day; it isn't there. I think early outs can work."

Board President Janet Neff said the board hopes to make a decision at its next meeting on March 27.


















 



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  Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.






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