11 months ago by Denise Donley
District seeks to make up state funding shortfalls
High registration costs were the topic of this week’s Unity Board of Education meeting on Wendesday night and many concerned parents were in attendance to voice their concerns.
Illinois says it needs $400.79 for each student that attends a public school. Since the state will not be covering the costs, Community Unit School District #4 in Mendon passed some of that cost onto the students’ families.
Brian Kurz, CUSD #4 Superintendent, said he thought the meeting went exceptionally well.
“The people that were there are interested in the District, interested in what the Board of Education Is doing to move forward,” said Kurz. “They had a lot of questions, were respectful, really informed in understanding the difficult financial state Illinois has put the school in. They want to be part of the conversation moving forward.”
Specifically, costs for book rental and drivers education increased. It’s now $150 for 7-12 grades and $100 for K-6. The Driver's Ed fee is $175. Also, the school had to add in an activity fee to be able to provide sports for the 2013-2014 school year.
The District made changes to the health insurance plan to allow around $100,000 in savings for the school. Kurz said they are continuing to look at other ways to cut costs moving forward.
“What the state decided or didn’t decide on with pension has a huge impact on us. By the time we learned that they weren’t going to do anything, we were really limited as a district in what staffing changes and what expenditures you can make,” said Kurz.
Multiple parents contacted QuincyJournal.com regarding the increases and have asked if they have to pay the fees. There is a waiver available of income guidelines are met.
First Bankers Trust is offering low interest loans that can be paid over ten months. There is also an online function where people can pay fees directly to the school with a credit card.
Kurz welcomes further questions or comments from the public.