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Pair of resolutions to be subject of Dist. U-46 vote

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 is set to vote on a pair of resolutions at its upcoming meeting on Monday, July 20.
  The items were presented at the June 15 meeting which was held electronically due to the COVID-19 shutdown.
  Included is a resolution to display the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year budget as well as setting the public hearing date. The tentative budget is expected to be presented on Aug. 17, a public hearing is set for Sept. 14 and a final vote is slated for Sept. 28.
  Dale Burnidge, director of financial operations, said the resolution is an “annual requirement.”
  Sue Kerr, the board’s president, and board member John Devereux asked earlier in the meeting about the district’s tracking of COVID-19 related expenses which U-46 expects to be reimbursed for through the federal CARES Act.
  Burnidge said the district is keeping track and “we are working on our CARES Act application and so all those eligible expenses that we’ve had since mid-March, whatever we can put in there to get reimbursed through that we’re working on that.”
  “Some of those expenses are already showing in the financials,” Burnidge added. “And then once we finish the application and that gets approved, then we can submit for all the expenses we’ve already had and we should get that reimbursement hopefully in July.”
  The CARES Act totaled over $6 trillion between spending measures and monetary measures from the Federal Reserve making it the largest spending bill in world history, this while the country is now $26.5 trillion in debt according to usdebtclock.org. 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.
  Board member Melissa Owens asked if there will be COVID-19 expenses that are not reimbursed to which Superintendent Tony Sanders said the district expects over $7 million.
  “Right now, for this current fiscal year, I think we have it pretty well covered. Anything that came up, we were able to cover,” Sanders said. “It’s next year. Depending on what school looks like next year, that’s where the challenge is going to come in.”
  Also, to be voted on is a resolution declaring the need to continue using mobile classrooms. The district expects to used eight doubles and five singles for 21 total classrooms.
  Prior to the meeting, Kerr and board member Eva Porter asked about the possibility of needing more mobile classrooms to follow social distancing guidelines.
  In a memo, the district stated an updated resolution would need to be approved by the board if more are needed.
  “Currently, the Operations team is vetting several options regarding instruction in the Fall,” the memo stated. “They have conducted an analysis of the mobile units to see what they were currently being used for. Depending on what is decided regarding reopening [in the fall], the mobiles will likely be utilized although the exact use is yet to be determined.”

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