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Various expense proposals slated for U-46 board vote

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 is set to vote on $18.1 million in expenditure items at its upcoming meeting on Monday, April 26.  
  That’s on top of an $18.5 million proposal for theoretical work. The $36.6 million in proposals were presented on April 12.  
  The largest item is $6.6 million, from the education fund, with Dell Technologies, PACE Systems Inc. and Insight for 1,607 interactive boards along with monitors and cameras. From the nation’s taxpayers through federal grant funds, the district is also asking for $58,023 for 21 additional interactive boards from Dell
  Two bids, both education fund, the district is not choosing the lowest bidder including $1 million to Kronos SaaShr, Inc. for five years of timekeeping and absence management. Tyler Technologies was the lowest of five bids at $691,729.
  The district, in an emailed response to board questions, stated: “Tyler’s lower cost gave them first place in the cost category, but it was not enough to overcome the functionality and implementation differences that we are asking for.”
  Follett School Solutions, Inc. was the second highest of four bids at $142,077 for two years for its library management system. The lowest bid, at $99,421 with SirsiDynix, is the district’s current provider but the proposal states Follett “was selected for its comprehensive system, integration with our current platforms (Canvas, Infinite Campus and Clever), and ease of use.”  
  There were 12 total education fund proposals totaling $13 million including $3 million for a seven-year contract renewal for Eureka Math, $556,120 for kitchen equipment replacement, $459,718 to purchase 14 driver education cars and go to all electric cars, $328,676 for a six-year contract renewal for science resources, $286,380 for a three-year contract renewal for Ombudsman, $222,402 for secondary music instrument replacements, $204,093 for 540 library iPads, $98,820 for a three-year contract renewal of the district’s visitor sign-in system and a $60,652 contract renewal with AVID.
  There were eight operations and maintenance items totaling $4.9 million including domestic water piping replacement, cogeneration power plant elimination and generator installation, building demolitions, parking lot renovation and pavement and tennis court reconstruction projects at various sites.
  Also from federal grants, the district is asking for $135,513 for a News-2-You contract renewal.  
  From a state Career and Technical Education grant, U-46 wants to spend $25,000 for what it calls a “collective equity proposal” with Corwin. The proposal states the district has 56 percent Hispanics, 34 percent English learners and 6 percent Blacks but only 41 percent, 2 percent and 4 percent respectively are enrolled in health care science courses.
  There was no evidence provided on why there aren’t equal numbers. 

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