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Carmi Board Of Education Meeting June 22, 2021

The Carmi White County Unit 5 Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting (last) Monday night at the Junior/Senior High School cafeteria.  Scott Mareing was there and has this report…

As the meeting got underway, School Board President Kent “Pete” Fulkerson read this statement:  On Friday morning, May 21st it was brought to my attention that the chairman of the White County Board had made comments to the local media, especially WROY/WRUL radio, that the Carmi-White County Community Unit School District # 5 was threatening a lawsuit against White County for failure to distribute 2019 taxes due in 2020 collected in 2021 by the White County Treasurer to our school district.

Within each board member’s official oath is the confirmation:  “…I shall recognize that a board member has no legal authority as an individual and that decisions can be made only by a majority vote at a public board meeting…”

I want to make perfectly clear to everyone here tonight as well as well as local media outlets represented and not present that your current school board has not in open or closed session discussed at any time a possible lawsuit against White County Illinois specific to taxes collected and owed our school district.

That statement again, by School Board President Kent “Pete” Fulkerson.  Those were his only comments on the matter.

In our report of the special White County Board meeting that was held on Thursday, May 20th, we aired comments from Board President Ron McAnulty where he said he heard from a lawyer that he would not name, that the Carmi and Norris City schools would sue if they didn’t get their money.  That story is still available in the local news section of our website WRUL.com dated Friday May 21st.

The board approved to accept Bushue Human Resources, Inc.’s insurance recommendation of Illinois Counties Risk Management Trust, or ICRMT for package, boiler and machinery, auto, umbrella, and educator’s legal liability for a total premium of $127,726.  It’s an annual premium increase of 2.28% over expiring premiums.

They accepted BerkleyNet’s worker’s compensation renewal in the amount of $69.441 for the July1st, 2021 to July1st, 2022 policy term.

Also approved was the Consolidated District Plan, which consolidates and streamlines the grant application and process by allowing school districts to answer just one set of planning questions to meet requirements for all grants they are applying for.  The plan is developed with consultation with stakeholders.  District plans must be submitted to the Illinois State Board of Education and approved before any FY2022 grant applications can be approved.

And the board approved the recommendation from Lunsford Architects to accept the total project bid of $132,706 to renovate the existing high school science lab.  Only board member Kelly Ackerman voted against the proposal.  This project is funded by a school maintenance project grant, which is a dollar for dollar state matching grant of $50,000.  To date the school district has spent $11,809.38 on security lighting at the Junior/Senior High School.  This leaves $88,190.62  to be spent on the science lab project.  Of this amount, the state and the district will each pay half.  An additional $44,516 would be needed to complete the project.  They have the option of utilizing ESDSER II funding, 1% sales tax revenue, or Health/Life Safety dollars.

There was $4,415,649 in total revenue for May, including $58,669 from the 1% sales tax.

In the Superintendent’s Report, Brad Lee said 350 million additional dollars will be added to the Evidence Based Funding Formula for K-12 education, mandated categoricals will remain at level funding for next year and Early Childhood Education would see a 9.2% increase over last year, in the state’s FY 22 budget.

The district will continue to follow the state of Illinois’ guidance on the coronavirus as the state is now at Phase 5, the final phase of the Restore Illinois Plan.  They will continue to wear face coverings and monitor the guidelines as they prepare for the opening of the next school year.

The district will not be able to utilize the services of Kemper CPA out of Olney for the annual audit due to a number of retirements that have occurred there, so after it was decided to use the services of Dartt and Company LLC for the next three years.

Lee also recognized Gage Atteberry, an incoming junior at Carmi-White County High School, for winning the annual Congressional Art Competeition and congratulated CWCHS Girls’ and Boys’ Track athletes Jessica Smith, Kaeli Burchfield and Ty Barbre for representing the school at the State Track Meet in Charleston.

District Technology Coordinator Robin Huggins gave an update on the district’s technology.  Among the things they are doing are updating the computers to Windows 10, applying for grants for updating of infrastructure and insuring online privacy.

Dr. Amy Dixon, Director of Instruction, provided an update on state testing and assessments given to Unit 5 students.  Language and math scores for K-8 are above the state average and High School scores are not above average yet but are steadily improving.

Building administrators gave an update on Summer School that was in session from June 1-18.  There were 43 students for the High School gaining 31 credits in language and math and sixth grade attendance was good as well.

In other business, the Second Semester Board Scholars for the 2020-21school year were named.  There were five freshmen, 17 sophomores, seven juniors and 12 seniors.

The lowest or best bids were accepted for cafeteria food, cafeteria fire suppression, fuel, milk, trash hauling, pest control and fire extinguisher.

Membership in IASB was renewed for FY2022, as dues will be$3,911, the same as FY2021 dues.

The board accepted the retirements of Debra South as reading aid at Lincoln School and William South as district school bus driver, both effective May 24th.

Accepted the resignations of Andy Acord as 5th grade girls’ basketball coach, Justin Simmons as Carmi-White County Junior High head baseball coach and Hilary Terrell as Special Education individual aide at the Junior High School, all effective immediately, Amber Ochs as Junior High science and social studies teacher effective at the end of the 2020-21 school year, Rhet Vaughan as Special Education teacher at Brownsville School effective May 24th and Jonathan Cribbs as building custodian at Washington School effective August 11th.

And they accepted $815 in total donations to the Brownsville School.

The board went into closed session at 7:55 PM to discuss personnel, a review of closed session minutes and audiotapes, and a board member vacancy.

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