Unit 40 Board Approves Tentative Levy

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Published on October 29 2013 1:47 am
Last Updated on October 29 2013 1:47 am
Written by Greg Sapp

The Effingham Unit 40 school board Monday placed on file a tentative levy for the fiscal year that calls for a total tax rate that would be the lowest since 2001.

Unit 40 Business Manager Rem Woodruff said the District can seek such a levy since there is an anticipated increase in the equalized assessed value of the property in the school district.  The estimated increase in the EAV is 2.5%, but the District is seeking a 6.25% hike increase there is a larger increase in EAV than expected.

The total levy would be four cents less than last year.

The levy calls for a decrease in funds for IMRF and Social Security but more funds for Tort due to insurance premium increases and legal fees.

The levy is to be finalized at the Board's November meeting.

The Board also discussed at length the need to repair the roof on the southwest part of the high school building due to wind damage.  The Board agreed to seek a $50,000 State maintenance grant to help defray some of the project cost, estimated at between $170,000 and $220,000.

Curriculum Director Chelle Beck said the District saw progress in efforts to meet Adequate Yearly Progress and said District scores stayed above State averages.  Beck said Board members should remember that Unit 40 is trying to align to the new standards that will take effect next year and that the district is educating students with Individualized Education Plans that "are drastically different" than are seen in neighboring districts.

The Board came to a 3-3 vote on whether to buy a mower to help with maintaining the athletic complex west of the high school.  Some board members want to see what it would cost to contract the mowing.

Also...Woodruff reported that district financials are up 3.6% over this point last year, Superintendent Mark Doan reported average daily attendance at the high school for the first month of the school year was 99.32%.  Board member Laurie King, who also serves on the Unit 40 Foundation Board, reported that the Foundation Board approved grant requests from eight teachers for more than $6,200 in equipment.  Doan reported that district enrollment is down by 97 students from this point last year.

In personnel moves, the Unit 40 board hired Bryan McMillen as head wrestling coach and Michelle Rieman as a bus driver...accepted David Hoesli's resignation as a bus driver...changed the retirement of Micki Overton-Hall to the end of the current school year and accepted the retirement of EHS Guidance Office staffer Linda Youngblood as of the end of 2013.  The Board also approved Family and Medical Leave Act leaves for Erin Wendling, Marilyn Sudkamp and Jeff Leasher, and approved leaves for Jennifer Buffington and Jeanne Patterson.