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By DAVE HINTON
Rantoul Press editor
LUDLOW — Ludlow Grade School will seek a proposed tax levy increase of 14.21 percent.
A truth-in-taxation hearing is scheduled at 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, prior to the board’s monthly meeting.
The proposed levy amount will bring in an estimated $563,138. The district brought in $493,000 in 2011.
Superintendent Dru Lobmaster said the tax levy hike is so high due to the Consumer Price Index (3 percent), which is up from last year’s figure of 1.5 percent.
“This impacts the computation process for the levy,” Lobmaster said. “We will ask for more than we actually expect in order not to leave tax money on the table.”
The levy was outlined at the board’s monthly meeting Thursday.
Lobmaster said the district continues to receive less state aid — 89 percent of of what it had been receiving and 80 percent next year.
She said it has been several years since it was necessary for the board to conduct a truth-in-taxation hearing.
Agreement with teachers
In other business, the board approved a two-year collective bargaining agreement with teachers.
Teachers will receive a 1.5 percent raise.
Negotiations had been ongoing since the spring.
“We just had to finalize some language in the contract,” Lobmaster said.
The board adopted a resolution to issue $150,000 “or less” in working cash fund bonds.
Lobmaster said the funds were needed because the district has been depleting its reserves by $80,000 each year for the last two years.
A hearing date for the bond issue was set for 6:50 p.m. Dec. 20.
Principal Tom Townsend reported that Veterans Day events were “very productive.”
They included a field trip to Chanute Air Museum, hosted by Ludlow American Legion.
Tour guide leaders were Ralph Cox and Tiny Milburn of Ludlow. Steve Thomas of Ludlow presented Veterans Day activities for students in kindergarten through second grade.
“The kids loved it,” Lobmaster said of the activities. “We’re probably going to do that again next year. It was wonderful.”
Security camera system
The grade school will receive a new security camera system.
The board approved a proposal from F.E. Moran of Champaign of $4,395 for installation.
The system will work in coordination with the existing alarm system.
A $2,880 proposal from Houston Heating and Plumbing was approved to install a Royal flush valve system in the boys restroom. The system is needed to meet safety and energy efficiency standards.
The board approved the appointment of Alison Barnes, Tanya Vipond and Sarah McKinstry as coordinators of the Rising Star school improvement program.
Upcoming Ludlow School dates include:
Nov. 21-23 — No school (Thanksgiving holiday)
Nov. 30 — 11:10 a.m., student of the month assembly/PBIS party, 1:20-2:20 p.m.
Dec. 3 — McTeacher Night at McDonald’s, 5-7 p.m, in which teachers work at the restaurant to raise funds for student activities.
Dec. 6 — Winter music program, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 21 — Early dismissal at 1 p.m./start of Christmas break.