RANTOUL — Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio is optimistic the district will collect its full property tax levy eventually, but in the meantime the budget is in the red.
“When we get audited in September, it’s going to show us with spending deficits for the year in all our major funds,” he said at the July 15 board meeting.
Usually, he said, the district collects 53 percent of its property tax levy after property owners make payments due on June 1.
“It didn’t happen this year,” Amerio said.
Due to a delay in information from the state, Champaign County tax bills were sent out a month late and payment delayed accordingly. Amerio said he believes the district will collect the shortfall next year.
If the deficit is big enough, the district would have to submit a deficit-spending plan to the Illinois Board of Education. Amerio doesn’t think the threshold will be triggered.
“The state board is very aware of what happened to Champaign County schools. We won’t be the only ones in this position,” Amerio said.
In other financial news, the district received $49,937 from the Champaign County 1-percent school facilities sales tax. That’s about $1,500 more than was collected last July.
Amerio recommended a full-time, academic-year position be established to provide school nurse April Jones with assistance.
“Our student needs in the medical area is increasing,” he said. At least one student has “very-severe” and “very-specific” needs.
Initially, Jones had asked for clerical assistance, but Amerio said he was leaning to a certified nurse assistant who would be able to assist with some medical needs while
Jones is responding to an urgent need elsewhere in the building.
Board members Kelly Foster and Ann Reale agreed.
“Is that enough?” board member Janet Brotherton asked.
Amerio said he thought so because classroom staff would also be trained to respond.
“April would have to get there to administer medication,” he said.
Brotherton asked if summer school was covered. Amerio said Jones is still in the building for some of that time, completing paperwork.
Board member Monica Hall asked Amerio to speak with Jones before posting about the CNA requirement, and Foster requested that the job description be circulated to board members prior to posting.
The board voted to establish a revolving fund in the amount of $6,000; petty cash fund in the amount of $200; and to authorize Bank of Rantoul as the district depository.
Lunch fees for 2019-2020 were set at $2.40 for students and $3 for adults, up 10 cents from last year.
Hall asked if the district is eligible for a grant obtained by Rantoul City Schools that allows that district to offer free lunch to all students. Amerio said that program requires 70 percent of students to be eligible for free or reduced lunch fees.
“We don’t have that percentage, so that’s why we are not able to have free lunch for everybody,” Amerio said.
Also, the board approved a contract with BSN Sports to provide uniforms for the girls volleyball, softball, basketball and track uniforms. Amerio said the discounts and rebates offered by BSN will be “very beneficial” to the district. However, if Athletic Director Travis Flesner thinks prices are too high, the district would have the flexibility to purchase uniforms from a competitor, Amerio said.
Several board policy amendments were approved to bring district board policies into line with recommendations from the Illinois Association of School Boards. The major change was to replace the board’s student threat assessment team policy adopted last year with the recommended Targeted School Violence Prevention Program policy. The only new policy was one that formalizes the board reorganization process.
Amerio showed the board a diploma and letters of recommendation received from the family of 1940s graduate Ralph H. Froman, requesting that if the district could not find a home for the items that they be passed on to the Rantoul Historical Society.
The board approved the hiring of Molly Steiger as transportation director. Appointments made included Sandy Davis, special education director; Trish Freeman, prom sponsor; Nick Cole, assistant cross country coach; Chris Wagner, fall Eagle enhancement coordinator; Title I intervention study hall personnel for science — Kristin Walerowicz and Trish Freeman; social science — Beth Carsley and Jenna Flessner; math — Samantha Schroeder, Mari Mermelstein, Rhea Modglin and Tammy Ingram; English — Allison Cox and Hannah Yeam; ESL — Carmen Brooks; and credit recovery Mindy Moberg, Bryce Hartranft and Elizabeth Martin.
A special board meeting has been called for Monday, Aug. 5, to vote on appointment of and to install a board member to replace board member Doug Jordahl. Jordahl resigned after serving as a board member for 22 years.