Classroom Challenges

By: Nichole Vrsansky
By: Nichole Vrsansky

AS THE SCHOOL YEAR WINDS TO AN END - EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT IN OUR AREA HAS ITS SHARE OF CHALLENGES TO PONDER OVER THE SUMMER - AS THEY PREPARE FOR A NEW YEAR.

AS PART OF A MONTH-LONG EXAMINATION OF WHAT'S AHEAD FOR OUR SCHOOLS, WE'LL BE TAKING A LOOK AT EACH STATELINE SCHOOL DISTRICT. WE BEGIN WITH BELVIDERE SCHOOLS.

GROWTH IN BELVIDERE SCHOOLS HAS BEEN BOTH A CHALLENGE AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISTRICT 100 SUPERINTENDENT DR. DONALD SCHLOMANN.

THANKS TO COMMUNITY SUPPORT - VOTING YES ON THE APRIL BALLOT - A NEW HIGH SCHOOL AND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WILL BE BUILT OFF BELOIT ROAD, NEAR THE SQUAW PRARIE INTERSECTION. BUILDINGS THAT WILL EASE OVERCROWDED HALLWAYS AND CLASSROOMS, ELIMINATE SPLIT SCHEDULES AND GIVE FUTURE STUDENTS SOMETHING TO BE EXCITED ABOUT.

BUT NOW THE DISTRICT'S CHALLENGE IS FUNDING THE NEW SCHOOLS. THE SECOND QUESTION ON THE APRIL REF -ASKING VOTERS FOR A TAX HIKE - FAILED. SO DISTRICT LEADERS WILL GO BACK TO THE COMMUNITY FOR NEW SUGGESTIONS.

UNLIKE MOST ILLINOIS SCHOOL DISTRICTS - BELVIDERE HAS A BALANCED BUDGET. THEY SPEND ABOUT 58-HUNDRED DOLLARS PER STUDENT EACH YEAR, COMPARED TO A STATE AVERAGE OF 85-HUNDRED.

TEACHER TALKS ARE GETTING UNDERWAY. THE CURRENT CONTRACT EXPIRES IN A YEAR. ON AVERAGE BELVIDERE TEACHERS MAKE A LITTLE MORE THAN 46-THOUSAND A YEAR. THE STATE AVERAGE IS OVER 54-THOUSAND.

FOR NEXT YEAR - HOWEVER - STATE FUNDS ARE UNCERTAIN AND DISTRICT COSTS WILL CERTAINLY NOT BE DECREASING.

THE COMMUNITY MAY BE ASKED TO CHIP IN ONCE AGAIN - ANOTHER REFERENDUM IS A GOOD POSSIBILITY AS DISTRICT 100 CONTINUES TO TACKLE GROWTH WHILE MAINTAINING ITS EDUCATIONAL STANDARDS.


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