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Dist. 54 has received 80 percent of FY 2013 funding

Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 7:25 a.m. CST

Morris Elementary School District 54 has received more than 80 percent of the state funding allocated to it in Fiscal Year 2013.

At an informal committee of the whole meeting Monday afternoon, Dist. 54 officials were presented with the FY13 numbers, which Superintendent Teri Shaw said were better than expected.

"It's higher than we anticipated," Shaw said. "We're very happy with the amount of funding we have received so far."

Out of an annual allocation of $2,590,334.39, Dist. 54 has received $2,118,008.72.

That includes $1,231,170.48 of $1,354,289.40 in general state aid, about $206,000 of $276,000 in regular and vocational transportation and approximately $68,000 of $88,000 in special education transportation.

Shaw said she is especially happy with the amount of transportation funds paid to date.

FEE WAIVER POLICY

The committee also reviewed a new school fee waiver policy that will take effect next school year.

Currently, students are eligible for a joint lunch and school fee waiver if they meet certain criteria, such as an illness in the family or an unusual circumstance, or if a parent experiences unemployment or a work stoppage.

The waiver requires an application but does not require verification.

Under the new policy, the student fee waiver — which covers things like textbooks and extracurricular activities — would be a separate application process from the lunch waiver, and this one would require verification.

"That's a paradigm shift," Shaw said. "We will ask for verification on school fees."

"It's a new waiver," Shaw added. "We've never had a separate one for school fees."

Shaw said the idea came from a Best Practices workshop.

The criteria for both applications will be the same. The lunch waiver still will not require verification.

NAME CHANGE?

Board Secretary Caroline Cummings discussed possibly changing the name of the curriculum committee to the "educational services" committee.

She said the committee would cover everything that deals with students, in contrast to committees like finance which are "logistical."

"I think this is stuff we already talk about in the committee," Cummings said, suggesting the new name would not expand the committee's purview, but better reflect all the issues it tackles.

Board Vice President Carol Narvick expressed some caution about broadening committees, saying it could cause time issues.

"I don't think you make very good decisions when you have that much going on," Narvick said.

The board will continue to discuss the matter.

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