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Dist. 230 passes 15th annual balanced budget

For the 15th consecutive year, the District 230 School Board has approved a balanced budget.

          “At a time when 70 percent of school districts are in deficit spending, posting a balanced budget every year is an accomplishment,” said School Board President Rick Nogal, following the vote at the Sept. 28 board meeting.

          Nogal also noted that for five of the past six years, the school district, which includes Sandburg High School in Orland Park, Stagg High School in Palos Hills and Andrew High School in Tinley Park, has not requested an increase in the tax levy. That trend is continuing this year in the district, which receives roughly 85 percent of its funding from property taxes. The state provides 10 percent of the budget funding, mainly for transportation and special education, and five percent comes from federal funding.

          District officials said details of the current tax levy are still being worked out, but Nogal said the District 230 portion of the March 2018 tax bills will see a decrease from last year as the district is retiring debt. It was noted that the decrease is partly due to   District 230’s upgraded bond rating of AA1 recently awarded by Moody’s credit agency, as well as Financial Recognition from the Illinois State Board of Education. When the AA1 rating upgrade was first was announced at the June board meeting, officials said that it would mean lower interest being paid on a $4.5 million bond issue, resulting in a reduction of $127 in annual property tax levied on median-priced homes in the district.

No one in the audience commented during the public hearing held prior to the vote on the budget on Sept. 28.

Nogal thanked the administration, teachers and staff for their commitment to providing a high-quality education while also being fiscally responsible to taxpayers. “This is an ongoing commitment by staff who are also actively engaging in focused cost containment and revenue enhancement discussions throughout this school year,” said the board president.

Superintendent Dr. James Gay added, “I would personally like to thank each member of our district family who works tirelessly to keep a mindful eye on resource efficiency while providing an outstanding educational experience for our students.”

          Also at the meeting, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kim Dryier and Director of Curriculum Dr. Stacey Gonzales provided an overview of the district’s Co-Teaching and Blended Learning programs.

          Dryier highlighted the professional development that is taking place with English teachers who co-teach, which is when two teachers provide instruction in a classroom of 70 percent general education students and 30 percent special services students. She said co-teaching is meant to provide an inclusive setting for special education students in the least restrictive environment. 

Gonzales then discussed the Blended Learning courses that took place during summer school. These courses were designed to provide a flexible learning environment that blends online instruction with in-person instruction. She said surveys completed by students who took the courses indicated that they liked them because the flexibility allowed time for work and other activities.

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