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District U-46 expenses approved by board vote

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 unanimously approved, via a 7-0 vote, of $36.6 million in expenditure items as well as $8.6 million in itemized bills at its meeting on Monday, April 26.
  The largest item was $18.5 million for work admitted based solely on theory with Learning Sciences International (LSI). The proposal, which will run through 2025-2026, includes professional development, job-embedded coaching and resources (academic teaming toolkits, student evidence tracker) and will be paid by the nation’s taxpayers through federal bailout funds.
  Penny Sell, LSI’s executive director, said: “Our mission at LSI is really to transform core instruction to develop both agency and academics within students to allow them to break the cycle of generational poverty…. This is not a program; this is second order change.”
  In a written response to board member questions, the districted admitted its highest paid staff in the “central office” is unable to do their job as they are “not organized to support principals as the instructional and operational leaders of their schools” as justification for the theoretical work.
  Sue Kerr, the board’s president,” said she was “impressed” that LSI will “be in the district a lot working with our staff,” and board member Melissa Owens said: “This is a big lift for the district. This is really important work.”
  The district will spend $6.6 million for 1,628 interactive boards along with monitors and cameras as well as $135,513 for a News-2-You contract, all paid through federal grants.
  There were 14 items from the education fund totaling over $14 million ranging from $1 million for a timekeeping and absence management system to $60,652 for renewal of AVID.
  There were eight operations and maintenance items totaling $4.9 million for various projects at sites, the largest being $962,354 for domestic water piping replacement at Elgin High School. Additionally, a state grant will fund $25,000 for what the district calls a “collective equity proposal.”

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