In September of each year, school boards across the state take action on their annual budgets. School budgets in Illinois have been negatively impacted by uncertain funding from the State of Illinois and the historic economic downturn in 2008 for several years.
Throughout these uncertain times, the Board of Education of Keeneyville District 20 has kept its commitment of producing an education budget that is balanced; one which properly funds its priorities in the education of our students. The 2016-2017 school year budget is no different.
In the winter of 2016, the Board of Education adopted a new three-year strategic plan which established goals supporting quality education for all while igniting the power and potential of each student.
As the process of writing this year’s budget began in earnest this past spring, District 20 worked to ensure strategic goals drove budget decision making.
This year’s approved budget includes faculty coaches in both Instructional Technology and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and a Behavioral Interventionist. These positions are designed to support our teachers and students as we enhance our instruction and master knowledge and skills critical for success in a 21st Century world.
We will be allocating funds to purchase over 600 Chromebooks and put them in the hands of students to achieve our goal of one to one student technology in grades three through eight by 2018.
Our budget has carefully allocated resources to purchase new and updated learning materials which support rigorous instruction in mathematics and incorporate both Next Generation Science and new Social Studies Standards in our curriculum.
After hearing from our parents on the need to expand extra-curricular opportunities for elementary students, this District 20 budget increases funding for those programs, the first expansion of those activities in several years.
This year’s budget also provides for the introduction of our first ever fifth-through eighth grade extra-curricular theater program. This is a program that will support students in expressing their individual talents while supporting strong social-emotional skills and that will culminate in a production of Wizard of Oz this spring.
The future of school funding in Illinois is still very much in doubt. We do not know from year to year what kind of state and federal resources we will be able to count on, but the Board of Education has worked hard to ensure a current year education budget that meets our priorities and is balanced. The Board has an absolute commitment to being good stewards of local tax payer resources and we are very pleased to be able to move forward on several exciting opportunities this year.
Dr. Michael Connolly