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By DAVE HINTON
Rantoul Press editor
GIFFORD — The Gifford school board has some hard choices ahead in terms of transportation.
To lease or buy buses: That is the question.
Tim Toolen of Midwest Bus Sales gave a presentation to the school board at its monthly meeting this week about the firm’s bus lease or bus lease-purchase programs.
Gifford Superintendent Rod Grimsley said the district is at the end of its current bus lease and must look at options for the next school year.
The board will hear a presentation from Midwest Transit in February.
Grimsley said the current buses have been leased in two separate leases for a total of five years.
“The board is going to consider all the options and try to make the best financial decision possible,” Grimsley said. “Unfortunately we cannot predict what the state budget will be for transportation reimbursement in the next five years.”
Grimsley said the district has several options, including a lease, lease-purchase, buy the buses outright or put together a combination of two of the three.
“This will be a big financial decision that will have to be made by the end of the fiscal year,” Grimsley said.
In other business, the board was informed that Gifford staff had begun Common Core training for math. They are working with Editure, a professional consulting company with which the district and four other area districts have pooled for a two-year contract.
Common Core is a nationally adopted standard for learning that all schools in Illinois are moving into. Last year the area districts addressed English language arts.
Other schools pooling with Gifford for the training are Rantoul Township High School, Rantoul City Schools, Thomasboro and Ludlow.
The board approved 7 p.m. May 23 for eighth-grade graduation ceremonies.
The board was reminded of the building and grounds committee meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23.
The board approved payment of $385 to Sandy Beherns for completion of a continuing education class.