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Expenditure proposals set for District U-46 vote

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 will vote on $744,131 in expenditure proposals at its upcoming June 1 meeting. The items were presented at the Monday, May 18 meeting which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 shutdown.
  Included are two proposals the district expects the nation’s taxpayers to fund through the federal CARES Act. That act was meant to help businesses, including those deemed “nonessential” by the government, that have been harmed due to the shutdown, but schools are also receiving the bailout funds.
  Included in those is $194,831 with Learning A to Z for its distance learning resources and $40,000 with Notable, Inc., also for distance learning resources.
  “U-46 currently is currently implementing distance learning for all students Early Childhood through 12th grade,” the Learning A to Z proposal states. “As we have implemented distance learning we have identified the need for online-based guided readers in English and Spanish especially for our younger students.”
  The Notable, Inc. proposal states: “When we began distance learning in March of 2020 a gap was immediately identified. When students and teachers left the buildings, they did not know we would not be returning. This meant that many teachers and students did not take relevant learning materials such as their Eureka Math Modules.”
  To replace 100 smartboards and mounted balance boxes, the district is asking for $232,300 with TIERNEY for the smartboards and $110,000 with PACE Systems, Inc. to be paid through the education fund if approved.
  Sue Kerr, the board’s president, said the smartboards being replaced were nine to 15 years old and asked how often they are replaced. Laura Macias, director of information services, said there is an age and obsolescence plan and “these are the oldest,” but she added more replacements will be asked for next year.
  With Mind Research Institute, the district is asking for $102,000 (education fund) for a contract renewal for ST math intervention resources. Last year’s cost was $131,768.
  Costing $65,000 (education fund), the district is seeking a contract with BlueStreak Education for a math intervention to replace FASTT math, which will be discontinued this July. FASTT math cost $75,000 last year.
  Additionally, the board will vote on a resolution allowing the display and public hearing on the Northern Kane County Regional Vocational System budget for Fiscal Year 2021. The tentative budget is expected to be presented on June 15, a public hearing to be held on July 20 and a final board vote on Aug. 3.

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