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Officials examine impact of state legislation on 2017-2018 budget

Some of Summit Hill District 161’s state aid is held up, given that lawmakers in Springfield have not passed legislation concerning a portion of revenues stemming from the rollout of the new evidence-based funding formula.

The Board of Education took time Jan. 10 at its regular meeting for an update on its 2017-2018 budget.

Director of Business and Transportation Doug Wiley said what District 161 is owed to meet its adequacy target, an amount used to determine how much it costs to provide high quality education, is held up.

The new school funding formula has two components to it: adequacy target and base funding minimum. The latter is the amount distributed by the State of Illinois to ensure that the revenue levels afforded to school districts do not drop from one year to the next.

To date, District 161 has received payment toward its base funding minimum.

“Our current base funding minimum is $2,616,202 as calculated by ISBE,” Wiley said.

Board Secretary David Faber questioned if Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the bill, enabling Summit Hill to take in funding to meet its adequacy target will cause an issue.

Wiley said it remains unclear how much money has been held up by the state.

“I don’t know how close they were to releasing those numbers before that, but it’s just been put on hold,” Wiley said. “I’m sure they’re still working on it.”

There are other forms of state aid withheld from Summit Hill, as well.

“We have not received any mandated categorical payments for this year,” Wiley said. “The state currently owes around $929,000, of which about $870,000 is funding for transportation.”

Summit Hill’s budget works under the assumption that two categorical payments will be received during the current fiscal year.

The District is receiving its general state aid on time, Wiley said. State revenues make up approximately eight percent of District 161’s total revenue budget.

Registration, proof of residency drives scheduled for next month

Also during the meeting, Superintendent Barb Rains made mention of the dates, times and locations for the kindergarten registration and district-wide proof of residency drives for the 2018-2019 school year.

A kindergarten registration drive is scheduled from 3:45 to 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at Dr. Julian Rogus School. There, families whose children are five years or older on or before Sept. 1 will need to present an official birth certificate and if applicable, proof of legal custody.

Rains said afterwards, students and their parents are invited to participate in a school tour hosted by the building’s teachers.

The district-wide proof of residency drive will convene for returning families from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 26-27 at the Mary Drew Administration Center board room.

A mailer will be sent to the District’s families informing them of the drives.

Rains said the district-wide proof of residency drive is commonly a very quick process for families, as they present the necessary documents.

“[The district-wide proof of residency drive,] this is something we do every four years,” Rains said. “This happens to be the fourth year we’re going to host a district-wide drive.”

It is not only every four years that District 161 looks to check for proof of residency.

“Throughout, we spot check,” Rains said. “We have a program called Nexus Lexus. If there’s a reason to review documents, especially those with leases, that’s what we use. In the last year or so, we reported to you, I believe, it was half-a-dozen families decided not to bring in additional documentation and instead chose to move out of our district.”

Rains said this process has a proven track record showing that it works and emphasized that it’s not that Summit Hill has a huge problem with this, they just like to ensure that students are residents of the district.

Rains said there are times in which they are able to spot families whose students are not residents of District 161, but it is not often.

When returning parents drop in for the district-wide proof of residency drive, they will obtain their login information, enabling them to begin online reregistration when it opens March 1, at which point families can pay the registration fee via credit/debit.

Round it up

A brief recap of Summit Hill District 161 Board of Education action and discussion Jan. 10:

  • Officials awarded a one-year, $10,500 contract to Johnson Controls to solidify a software maintenance agreement for Metasys System.

  • The board approved the 2018-2019 school year’s kindergarten registration fees of $150 for extended day and $125 for half day and went on to add a $30 off incentive for dues paid from Feb. 6-20.

  • Registration fees for grades 1-8 will be presented at the Board of Education’s next regular meeting, at which point officials will need to decide whether or not to approve them.

  • The next regular meeting of the school board is 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Mary Drew Administration Center.

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