An “Ugly Budget” Approved By NCHS Board

By Alex Haglund

The Nashville Community High School Board approved a tentative budget for the 2015-2016 school year at their regular meeting on Monday, August 17. The budget included $379,000 of deefcit spending in the education fund, mainly to account for continued shortfalls in promised funding from the state of Illinois.

“It’s an ugly budget, as they tend to be at this time of year,” said Superintendent Ernie Fowler, who had prepared the budget.

“I tend to budget for a worst-case scenario,” Fowler continued, “at least, I hope it’s worst-case, or we’re up a creek.”

Fowler went into more depth on the budget troubles from the State trickling down to the local level, saying that he only expected three categorical payments.

For transportation, “they’re not giving us anywhere near what we need,” he stated, adding, “we’re short by about $250,000 of what they owe us.

Fowler said that given the state of Illinois finances, none of this was surprising. He also told the board to keep an eye on State Senate Bill 318, a property tax freeze, which, if passed, would have further negative impact on district finances.

The board approved adopting the budget, which is available for public viewing at the district office effective August 20. There will be a hearing prior to final approval of the budget on Sept. 21, before the start of the September school board meeting.

School Begins

Fowler stated that it’s been “a fairly decent start to the school year,” and that he has met with all of the classes in order to introduce himself.

Fowler stated that just before school actually went into session, there was an enrollment of 399 students. “we’ve had some more come in after that,” he added, “but I don’t have an exact figure. It’s right around 400.”

In sports, NCHS Athletic Director Wayne Harre said that physicals for student athletes have been done and staff CPR training was complete as well.

Harre stated that Hornets Football Coach Tim Kuhn had spoken to him about the possibility of doing a Shriners games for the first home game, on September 11.

On September 18, the Hornets Football team will be taking on a Anna-Jonesboro in a “Tackling Type 1 Diabetes” game. Two Hornets football players are type 1 diabetics, and proceeds from the game will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

Harre also stated that new banners and photos of championship teams are up and on display. Harre voiced his appreciation for the custodial department and all of the work that they have done to get everything ready for this year.

Personnel

Following closed session discussion, the board approved a three year collective barganing agreement with the Nashville Education Association, the teachers union.

John Becker was hired as a Part-Time CTE Tutor through a CTE vocational grant.

Amanda Dees and Lucas Giacomo were both approved to continue as teacher’s aides.

The board approved utilizing David Fisher as a driver.

Library aide Tammy Jones’ resignation was accepted by the board.

Other

The board voted to adopt a new teacher evaluation plan. This was a formality required by state law.

The district is no longer using the Chase bank credit/debit card they had been using in the past. Now, they will be using a card local bank CTB, but its use needed to be approved by the board.