The Fieldcrest Board of Education approved an order for 400 new Chromebook computers for $157,900 at their monthly meeting Wednesday night. The computers are replaced every 4 years and are funded in part by student fees. Dr. Dan Oakley said students from lower-income families are not accessed the fee for use of the computers. Dr. Oakley said over 50% of the students in the Fieldcrest School District are in considered to be in the poverty level.
Dr. Oakley said the State of Illinois will owe the school district $600,000 by the end of the school year in June. He said if the State fails to come up with the money the school will be forced to borrow money to meet its expenses.
Commenting on the need to provide more money for education, Dr. Oakley said he favors a 1% county sales tax as a way to raise funds rather than increasing property taxes. He said this provides a more equitable way of funding education since it applies to everyone and not just property owners and has less impact on the taxpayer. He mentioned that Peoria and Livingston counties have a county tax.
In other business, the board renewed a 3 year contract for Director of Transportation Tom Heidenreich and a 1 year contract for Director of Technology Sue Walber and Director of Buildings and Grounds Kevin Glowacki all receiving a 1.5% pay increase. The board also approved a 1.5% salary increase for non-FEA employees.
Fieldcrest High School Principal Bill Lapp said the school will have a foreign exchange student for next year and one family has already signed up to sponsor the student. He said there will be a cardiac test for students this year. He said the tests have proved worthwhile as last year two students were diagnosed with potential heart problems through the tests. Mr. Lapp said MAP tests were conducted this spring with good results that showed an improvement in scores in math. He said the MAP tests resulted are available the day after the tests which gives students an immediate feedback on how they rank.
Board member Charles Lohr said he toured the districts school buildings and found that the rooms have not been painted in years. He recommended that the rooms be painted this summer. With the board's approval, Dr. Oakley will hire out the job to have the school rooms painted this summer.