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Dist. U-46 Board trustee offered additional seat


By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 will vote on whether or not to allow board member Sue Kerr to serve as a trustee on the Illinois School District Liquid Asset Fund Plus (ISDLAFP) board at its next regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 5.
  A resolution concerning Kerr’s appointment to that board was discussed on Monday, Oct. 15.
  Kerr said that the fund was set up by the state “to help school districts invest sort of together,” and she was asked to serve on the board last year.
  About 600 school districts are members of the fund according to Kerr, and the board is comprised of eight members including two school board members, two superintendents, two community college officials and two school finance administrators. The board meets four times a year.
  Kerr said she “was asked to join as a trustee last year, but they didn’t get the paperwork to me until last week…. Apparently I need a resolution to act as a trustee on this fund.”
  Board member Jeanette Ward said this was the first time the U-46 board has heard about this, and she asked for an explanation on how Kerr was selected.
  “This is the first time a U-46 board member has been asked to be a trustee,” Kerr said.
  Ward asked: “And what was the reason for having a U-46 board member be a trustee?”
  U-46 CEO Tony Sanders said the Illinois Association of School Boards asked him if there was a U-46 board member who could serve and he and the board’s president Donna Smith, who was absent at the Oct. 15 meeting, decided on Kerr because she “typically has time to do maybe more daytime meetings.”
  “At the time, this was at least a year ago, we did not realize that this resolution was required at the time,” Sanders said.
  Ward asked if the trustees cast any votes on investments in the fund to which Kerr said: “You’re given a presentation of basically their budget and their investments, and you vote on that…. You’re sort of keeping an eye on things. They give you a very detailed report on what the economy’s doing, what the investments are doing and so forth.”
  The discussion came on the same night that the board was updated on U-46’s first quarter investment report.
  Dale Burnidge, director of financial operations, said the district’s total portfolio was $372.6 million at the end of September with a current yield of 2.194 percent. He said it has accrued $1.9 million.
  Burnidge added that the district’s savings deposit accounts are yielding 2.05 percent.
  “September is our high point for cash due to all the tax receipts that we’ve had during the month, and we’ll be spending down our cash balances over the next five months,” Burnidge added.
  Kerr and Ward asked about how this report compared to last year and why there’s been an increase in yield.
  “The interest rates have been rising,” Burnidge said, and “it’s up probably about double from a year ago.”
  The Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates. As an example, the fed funds rate is currently at around 2.2 percent. That rate was at around 1.5 percent at the start of 2018.

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