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U-46 Board approves tax abatement, proposals

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 unanimously approved a resolution concerning the abatement of a portion of property tax levies along with several other proposals at its meeting on Monday, Feb. 5.
  The abatement will be $3.9 million towards paying part of the debt services of an $18.3 million bond, and it will go toward 2015 and 2016 levies but not the 2017 levy.
  “The budget that was presented and approved last fall included the levy for 2017 due to the uncertainty of state funding,” said Jeff King, deputy superintendent of operations. “To date, that uncertainty is still an issue since we are halfway through our fiscal year and the state still has not begun the distribution of funds based on the evidence-based funding formula.”
  King added: “Our expectation at this point is that we may not see any of those funds till May, which really doesn’t give us any opportunity to do anything with those funds in this fiscal year.”
  Also approved unanimously were four expenditure proposals totaling $2.1 million along with $3.1 million in itemized bills and the 10-year safety survey reports of 12 schools. The survey reports identified $8.4 million in needed fixes at those 12 schools to comply with state standards.
  On the expenditure proposals, one is a contract with Grant Thornton, LLP costing $945,840, from the education fund, for health care consultancy services. Grant Thornton was the highest bidder.
  Beth Berg, coordinator of employee benefits, said: “There are several considerations. The healthcare committee did interview finalists and the consultant that is being recommended, Grant Thornton, is the incumbent. They have been working with the district for I believe 14 years now.”
  A proposal with both Dell Marketing, LP ($677,980) and PCM ($76,063) for 2,000 chromebooks and 125 charging carts primarily for self-contained special education classrooms was approved as well as another separate proposal with Dell ($152,146) to purchase 70 laptops for the BEACON Academy at South Elgin High School. Both will be paid for by the nation’s taxpayers through IDEA Part B Flow-Through and Perkin’s grant funds respectively.
  The board also approved a $224,894 expenditure, from the education fund, with the College Board to pay for the first Advanced Placement exam of each AP student who chooses to take one.




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