The IHSA board of directors announced on May 8 that the postponed bass fishing state finals will be held on Friday and Saturday, May 31 and June 1, at Carlyle Lake in Carlyle...
In response to recent statements made by the Speaker of the House supporting the idea of shifting the cost of teacher pensions from the state to local school districts, Illinois State Rep. Charlie Meier of Okawville publicly opposed the idea...
During a lengthy and emotive meeting Monday night, the Carlyle City Council made several changes, not only to the administration but to several agenda items...
Kaskaskia College announces that Jerry Rakers of Carlyle has been given the Kaskaskia College Distinguished Service Award...
The Mater Dei Lady Knights soccer team collected their second-straight regional title as they claimed the Class 1A Metro-East Lutheran Regional title on Saturday evening in Edwardsville...
In response to recent statements made by the Speaker of the House supporting the idea of shifting the cost of teacher pensions from the state to local school districts, Illinois State Rep. Charlie Meier of Okawville publicly opposed the idea.
“I’m opposed to the proposed cost shift because it’s going to lead to large property tax increases and deep cuts to programs and staff at downstate school districts. The only reason Speaker (Mike) Madigan is proposing this idea is because he knows Chicago schools are going to benefit while schools in southern Illinois are going to be handed the bill,” Rep. Meier said.
Meier explained that the Chicago public school system serves only 18 percent of the statewide student population yet they disproportionately receive hundreds of millions in grants that are not accessible to suburban and downstate school districts. Examples include:
• Chicago public schools (CPS) are expected to receive 25 percent, $1.1 billion of General State Aid Formula.
• 37 percent off the top of the $325 million Early Childhood Block Grant is earmarked for CPS, which for all other schools is a competitive grant.
• Nearly 30 percent of Special Education funding goes to CPS, which has only 17 percent of the special education student population in the state. The State Board of Education estimated in 2010 that CPS was receiving nearly $235 million more than it should for special education services because of declining enrollment.
• Tax capped school districts cannot capture property value growth in the General State Aid formula because of tax caps. As a result, the General Assembly created a grant in 1999 to supplement General State Aid. It has grown from $50 million to $600 million since 1999, and 49 percent of the $600 million goes to Chicago schools.
• CPS has 18 percent of the student population, but receives 27 percent of the Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax and nearly half of all state Property Tax Extension Limitation Law Adjustments (PTELL) funds.
• CPS get 20 percent off the top for school construction grants. Downstate and suburban districts must apply for projects and get in line.
This shift also has a disproportionate impact on the suburbs and downstate — home to nine public universities and 38 community college districts, compared to only three universities and seven community colleges impacted in the city of Chicago.
“If Speaker Madigan truly wants to level the playing field for all Illinois school districts, let’s start by giving downstate schools more than just the scraps left over from the Chicago public schools,” Meier said.
Meier said he also opposes the cost shift plan because schools have already been forced to deal with less state funding and cuts to transportation reimbursement.
“Schools already have been forced to deal with cuts and they likely won’t be receiving as much in next fiscal year’s budget,” Meier said. “Speaker Madigan and the governor have said school districts can afford the shift because some districts have reserves on hand. The schools in my district have been forced to use any reserves just to keep the doors open and operations running smoothly. There’s no money to take on pension obligations without dramatically raising property taxes.”
During a lengthy and emotive meeting Monday night, the Carlyle City Council made several changes, not only to the administration but to several agenda items.
Alderman and Mayor-elect Mike Burton asked the council at the May 13 meeting to reconsider the request for hiring part-time parks workers on a permanent status.
“I think the language needs to be changed simply because we have health care considerations,” Burton said.
At their last meeting, the council recommended to allow parks workers permanent part-time work status, granting them to carry over their positions without reapplying.
Burton asked for a reconsideration of the ordinance and stated that the language should be changed, because everybody pays taxes and everybody in town contributes to the city.
“There is no special skill (regarding the part-time hires) needed to run a weedeater,” Burton said. “There is no special skill to sell a bottle of pop.”
Alderman Jeremy Weh asked Burton if he had received any citizen phone calls from people feeling neglected.
“I’ve been on the Park Committee since I’ve been on the board and have not heard one thing,” Weh said.
Burton said that he hears it all the time. “I’ve heard people say that, ‘well there is no need for me to apply because I’m not connected to the city,’” he said and alderperson Brenda Johnson agreed.
Parks director Dave Redeker said that the city hired over 70 part-time employees.
“There were 20 to 25 that did not get hired and a handful of that number were late entries,” Redeker said.
Burton commented that other cities get by with hiring “13, 14 and 15 part-time hires,” meanwhile, Carlyle was hiring over 70 people.
He then asked that the language be changed so that the part-time hires are not a permanent status, since they are seasonal.
The motion was denied, with aldermen Don Perez, Jeff Taylor, Jeremy Weh and Jason Edwards voting against and alderperson Johnson and Burton voting for.
In other news, Carlyle Library Board president Barb Guebert asked the city council to sign the Illinois Library State Grant agreement to go toward the new library.
“At this time I would like to recognize the Library Board,” Guebert said. “We have devoted our volunteer time, more than one year, to this effort, with the public sector. It has been an arduous task and we should all be very proud. At this time, we are asking for approval of the state contract (for procedural purposes) and once approved, it will be faxed and Secretary Jesse White will sign it.”
Burton objected to the motion of the agreement, based on revenue purposes.
“I have a better idea and I would like the future council to take a look at it,” Burton suggested. “We are simply spending money just because it’s there.”
The Mater Dei Lady Knights soccer team collected their second-straight regional title as they claimed the Class 1A Metro-East Lutheran Regional title on Saturday evening in Edwardsville.
The Lady Knights did not allow a goal in the regional as they shut out Greenville in the title game after shutting out host MEL in the semifinal match last Wednesday.
MD goalie Danielle Timmermann only had to make four saves in the regional as their defense was on their game.
The 12-6 Lady Knights will play in the Freeburg Sectional this week with Gibault (12-5), Alton Marquette (15-4) and Harrisburg.
Mater Dei 3, Greenville 0: The Lady Knights’ defense put on a clinic in the first half en route to their title win on Saturday.
The Comets never got their offense in gear in the first half as the MD defense didn’t allow a shot on goal until 90 seconds were left in the half.
Meanwhile, Abby Luebbers found the back of the net in the blustery weather when she scored from 25 yards out with just 11:08 gone in the match. The goal soared over GCHS goalie Emily Gafner in the top right corner.
With the Knights leading 1-0 at the half, Hope Huelsmann provided all the insurance they would need in the second half.
The sophomore winger scored on a free kick from 25 yards out into the upper right corner of the goal to give MD a 2-0 lead with 27 minutes left in the match.
She wasn’t done there as she scored on a breakaway 14 minutes later to seal the win.
The goals for Huelsmann were her 20th and 21st of the season which is tops all-time in MD school history.
MD netminder Danielle Timmermann earned her seventh shutout of the season as she stopped one shot in the first half and three in the second half of the match.
Mater Dei 8, Metro-East Lutheran 0: The Lady Knights dominated from start to finish last Wednesday in postseason play.
MD scored a pair of goals in the first half only to erupt for six more in the second half against the host team.
Becca Krebs got the first goal of the match for the game-winning goal while adding another in the second half.
Hope Huelsmann, Grace Chiarolonza, Jenna Endres, Maddy Mensing, Melanie Mensing and Megan Zurliene all had goals in the win for MD.
Huelsmann, Anna Lampe, Abby Luebbers and Abby Niemeyer each had assists in the match for Mater Dei.
Danielle Timmermann and Taylor Holtgrave combined on the shutout. MD outshot MEL 33-0.
|Fri., May 10||453.62|
|Sun., May 12||453.74|
|Tues., May 14||453.63|