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U-46 approves proposals, sets meeting schedule

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 unanimously approved two proposals totaling over $900,000 as well as the 2018-2019 board meeting schedule at its meeting on Monday, Jan. 22.
  The board meeting schedule aligns with how it traditionally is set according to Donna Smith, the board’s president.
  Smith said meetings are set on the “first and third Mondays (each month) as much as we can other than holidays.”
  The exceptions include July (one meeting, the 23rd), January (one meeting, the 14th), May (three meetings on the 6th, 13th and 20th), September (second and fourth Monday) and February (first and fourth Monday).
  Board member Phil Costello hinted that there was better communication this year in setting the schedule as he said: “I just want to thank madam president for working and at least understanding my conflicts.”
  Costello has attended some board meetings in the past via phone because of work conflicts with meetings for a park district board, where he is an administrator, and in October he said he’s always submitted his work conflicts to Smith and the administration before the meeting schedule is put together and “no attempt at accommodating my board conflicts has ever been acted on.”
  On the two expenditure items approved, one was with Currie Motors costing $468,437 which will come from the operations maintenance fund. The proposal is to replace 13 trucks which according to the executive summary “are at least 10-17 years old and have in most cases exceeded their useful life. Due to the deterioration and mechanical failures we recommend the attached list for immediate replacement.”
  The vehicles being replaced include six F350 4X4 pickups ($34,355 per truck/$206,130 total), five full-size transit vans ($26,747 per/$133,735 total), one F550 4X4 with box ($51,057) and one F550 4X4 dump truck ($77,515).
  The other proposal approved is with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt costing $442,954, from the educational fund, to purchase an updated version of the “On Our Way to English” textbooks for first and second grade. The textbook “supports English language development and enhances the rigor and relevance of students’ linguistic and academic development in the Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI) at Liberty Elementary as well as the 80:20 Dual Language Program” according to the proposal.
  The board also voted 7-0 to approve $16.2 million in itemized bills.




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