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  • Fairbury News staff

PC approves proposed budget

The Prairie Central Board of Education conducted a budget hearing and approved the proposed budget during its regular September meeting last week.

Overall, the budget shows deficit spending in IMRF, capital projects and operations and maintenance funds. The education fund has approximately $58,000 more in revenue than expenditures and debt services, transportation and fire prevention also show modest fund increases, according to information provided by Superintendent Paula Crane.

Education fund expenditure increases are due to preliminary health insurance quotes with renewal increases along with the increase in the number of employees, technology purchases and a special education tuition and housing increase. Education fund revenues are lower due to a reduction of CPPRT funds and less tier funding. The education fund is holding steady even under these circumstances.

Seventh grade girls basketball was an item of discussion at the meeting. Concerns were expressed during public comment of the team only having 6-7 girls with worries the team may have to forfeit games due to a lack of players. Jared Donley and Laura Kerber would like sixth grade girls to be brought up to play.

During the superintendent’s report, it was revealed Mr. Hartke, the junior high athletic director, has been working on the basketball issue for seventh grade as it is not just a PC issue as other schools are experiencing a lack of participation. Hartke will be given permission to recruit from sixth grade a maximum of three players. Coaches and administrators will try to find the causes of a lack of players and attempt solutions according to collected data.

Crane reported the high school gym floor is finished with only baseboards, wall mats and cleaning that need to be completed. The school hopes to hold the homecoming dance in the gym with the floor covered for protection. Also, the Ag and I.T. building materials are scheduled to arrive soon as site work continues. Foundations and walls have been poured and they are waiting on paperwork to be completed for the drainage project.

Board members learned sixth day enrollment was up nine students from last year and an increase is expected soon due to full Pre-K screenings. The district’s Pre-K through fourth grade numbers have been trending higher over the past few years.

Under old business, the group approved board goals which were presented at the August meeting, including goals for academics, facilities, finance, communication, personnel, adult education and parent engagement.

The board approved various trips under new business. This includes an FCCLA conference in Springfield Oct. 1 and 2, boys high school track attending the state meet in Charleston May 23-25, girls high school track attending the state meet in Charleston May 16-18 and the FFA attending the National Convention in Indianapolis Oct. 31 through Nov. 4. Permission was also granted for the FFA Dairy Team to attend World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin Oct. 1 through 3.

Board members authorized Crane to write a maintenance grant that would bring money into the district to help pay for the replacement of the roof over the music and art area at Prairie Central Upper Elementary. The district must match the funds with the project projected to cost around $200,000.

The current policy on bullying was reviewed, although no changes were made to the policy at this time. This is a new state mandate that is required every two years.

Minutes were approved from the Aug. 17 regular meeting along with the consent agenda, including activity fund reports, bills, CSFT reports, cafeteria report, financial information, investment schedule and treasurer’s report.

Following an executive session, the PC Board of Education approved the following employment:

-Tiffany Ray as U.E. secretary effective Sept. 25.

-Melissa McClellan as a high school café worker and bus monitor effective Sept. 22.

-Emily Tooley as PCE and West nigh custodian effective Sept. 22.

Leaves of absence were granted for:

-Ali Ifft, Dec. 18 through April 2.

-Brendan Vincent, Nov. 3 through Dec. 20.

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