U-46 budget difficulties continue

Updated 6/8/2011 2:11 PM

Counting on state funding to come through hasn't been a winning bet for public school districts during the past couple years.

So it should come as no surprise that Elgin Area School District U-46 does not expect to receive fourth-quarter transportation dollars from the state this year, to the tune of $1 million.


That's not a lot of money in U-46; it's a fraction of one percent of the school district's annual budget.

But $1 million here and $1 million there adds up. The district's announcement last week is less a cause for alarm than an indication that the school system's budget difficulties will continue.

In early drafts of the 2011-12 budget, U-46 finance officials are already projecting they will receive only 75 percent of the amount the state will owe the district next year for areas such as transportation and special education.

As I have noted before, the final draft of the budget is heavily dependent on the outcome of ongoing negotiations with all six unions.

Although the school year officially ends in a few weeks, U-46 officials have time; the final budget does not have to be approved and submitted to the state until September.

Teachers award scholarships: The summer before I went to college, I watched a lot of "The Steve Harvey Show" and ate a lot of cheeseburgers from Wendy's.

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Many area high school graduates will spend this summer figuring out how to pay for college. For five of them, it will be a bit easier.

The Elgin Teachers Association awarded students from four U-46 high schools with a $1,000 scholarship at a ceremony at Larkin High School late last month.

The scholarship winners are Constance Spyropoulos and Charles Franco of Bartlett High School, Lilliana Carillo of Elgin High School, Laura Balance of South Elgin High School and Samantha Radcliffe of Larkin High School.

To compete for the scholarships, each of the students had to express interest in becoming a classroom teacher.

Jameel Naqvi covers Elgin Area District U-46, Burlington District 301, Elgin Community College, Elgin private schools and Sleepy Hollow. Email him at jnaqvi@dailyherald.com.


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