Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Report to the Board of Education - June 21, 2016

Superintendent’s Report to
Urbana School District #116
Board of Education
June 21, 2016


Board Meetings on YouTube
Remember that all Board Meetings are broadcast live on UPTV, Channel 6. They are also posted on the USD116 YouTube Channel within a few days of the meeting.


Elementary Physical Education Teachers
While we did not have this issue on the agenda for tonight’s Board of Education meeting, it is still a top priority for the administration.  The current Illinois Budget Impasse has created a situation of uncertainty unlike any other in the school district’s history.  I am optimistic that the budget stalemate in Springfield will be resolved before the start of the school year.  If there is a K12 Budget passed in Springfield before the start of the school year, we might bring this issue to the Board in August.  We know that there are qualified applicants in our local pool, and we are capable of implementing an elementary PE schedule with licensed teachers very quickly, upon board approval.  


State Budget Impasse
The Budget Impasse in Springfield has already had a negative effect on our students and families.  We have seen the closure of social service and partner organizations that support schools, students, and families.  Public education is a positive economic driver and the state needs to accept its constitutional responsibility for having primary responsibility to fund public education.  If the state takes primary responsibility, provides adequate funding, and reduces inequities, the entire state benefits from the investment in our students.  Our local legislators, Senator Scott Bennett and Representative Carol Ammons, have been very supportive of public education.  I encourage people to contact their elected representatives in Springfield and encourage them to support adequate and equitable funding solutions for public education to support our students.  


Even if the State of Illinois is not meeting its primary responsibility, the education of all our students is our primary mission.   Despite fiscal and political forces that are beyond our control, USD116 will continue to be good stewards of public dollars.  


Urbana schools will open as scheduled in August.  We will continue to provide an outstanding, comprehensive education for every student.  We will constantly evaluate the situation in Springfield and keep our students, families, staff, and community informed about how the budget impasse might impact all of us as we move through the school year.  


Centralized Registration
This summer, Centralized Registration will be held at Urbana Middle School
Wednesday - July 27- 9:00AM to 4:00PM
Thursday - July 28 - 12:00 (Noon) to 7:00PM

Additional information about registering for school can be found on the district website: http://www.usd116.org/parents/registration-information/

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Report to the Board of Education - June 7, 2016

Superintendent’s Report to
Urbana School District #116
Board of Education
June 7, 2016


Board Meetings on YouTube
Remember that all Board Meetings are broadcast live on UPTV, Channel 6. They are also posted on the USD116 YouTube Channel within a few days of the meeting.

Congratulations to the UMS Track and Field Teams
Both boys and Girls competed in the IESA AA Track and Field Meet on Saturday, June 4.  DiamonAsia Taylor is the State Champion in the High Jump, and Tyler Carrel is State Champion in the Pole Vault.  There were nine other medalists and 12 additional students who placed in the top by 10.

Commendation to Sandy Davin, ASCCP Director
At the 30th annual Spring AfterSchool Conference celebration, Before School and After School Childcare Program director Sandy Davin was awardedThe Richard Scofield Award by the Illinois AfterSchool Network (IAN) organization. This award recognizes exemplary service and leadership in the afterschool profession throughout the state of Illinois.


Thoughts about the IL Budget Impasse
Article X of The Illinois State Constitution declares that, “The State has the primary responsibility for financing the system of public education.”  Illinois holds the dubious distinction of having the most inequitable and regressive funding system in the United States. Unfortunately, the over-reliance on local property taxes has allowed the state to ignore its constitutional requirements to adequately fund public education.
Urbana schools will open as scheduled in August.  Even if the state of Illinois is not meeting its primary responsibility, the education of all our students is our primary mission.   Despite fiscal and political forces that are beyond our control, USD116 will continue to be good stewards of public dollars.  

As Dr. Tony Smith, IL State Superintendent said in today’s Weekly Message, “Even without a state budget – or funding for our schools – we have to open for as many days as we can. Our students and families are depending on us.”  The students and families in Urbana School District #116 deserve nothing less than our best efforts in this time of fiscal uncertainty.

We will continue to provide our award winning comprehensive educational opportunities to our students for as long as we can.