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Local

Budget item increases for substitute teachers

District unable to fill special education teacher openings

Jim Hermes
Superintendent, Spring Valley Elementary Schools
Jim Hermes Superintendent, Spring Valley Elementary Schools

SPRING VALLEY — The Spring Valley Elementary School Board passed the Fiscal Year 2020 budget at Wednesday’s meeting with few changes from when it was presented last month.

One item highlighted by Superintendent Jim Hermes was that the budgeting for substitute teacher salaries was much higher this year than it was last year. Hermes said that is because the district has been unable to fill two special education positions, so those costs cannot be budgeted as full-time salaries.

“Right now, they are falling under our substitute salaries,” he said.

He encouraged any available special education teachers to apply for the position.

The board also heard from Mike Vezzetti of Vezzetti Capital Management about how much the district earned in investments last year.

Vezzetti said higher interest rates brought in $129,242 for the district, which compares favorably to years past when the school was earning around $10,000 per year on interest.

Vezzetti said interest rates have been rising since 2015, allowing the district to earn more since they have some money to invest. But Vezzetti did note that in late December to early January, the rates began to drop.

“Something happened during the two-week period that changed the Fed dramatically,” he said.

Vezzetti still projects the district will earn around $100,000 or more this fiscal year, but if federal interest rates continue to drop, those earnings could dwindle in future years.

JFK notes

• The new roof on the original John F. Kennedy School building is complete as the school wraps up summer construction projects. The school took care of roofing and piping issues in the building this summer and is now looking toward next summer to make bathroom renovations. Hermes said the board may see bids on that work at the October meeting.

• A Spanish night will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25. The entire night will be facilitated in Spanish and will allow parents to learn about computer access for things like TeacherEase. Parents can also learn about educational games to play with their children. The night is sponsored by the school’s bilingual committee.

• The school’s Preschool for All program is in line for a little extra funding. Principal Shelly Nauman said the school will receive an extra $65 per child for the next several years.

• The board approved a new health insurance plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois through Dimond Bros. in Spring Valley. The board also approved the evidence-based funding plan, authorized the school recognition application, approved a risk management plan, authorized the posting of salaries by October, and approved board policy updates.

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