RSD205’s Amcore building purchase was fiscally responsible

The Rockford Board of Education made the correct decision to purchase the former Amcore building on 7th Street. Their action will save the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars by purchasing a 1983 building worth millions versus being legally required by life/safety mandates to repair a hundred year old building for about the same cost. The first two floors are being leased by BMO Harris Bank for a total of $1.2 million over four years with an option to extend the term of the lease, plus $250,000 worth of office furniture for $50,000,...

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REA contract’s severance pay and insurance

This is the last in a series of posts directly concerning the Rockford Education Association contract, Article 33 – Early Retirement and Severance Pay. With a minimum of 10 years service in the district, and upon retirement or severance from the District, the teacher shall receive a lump sum based on last daily rate of pay, times 20%, times the number of accumulated unused sick days in excess of 105. Taking the highest salary in Appendix B of the REA contract for 2009/2010 of $76,670 for 185 days compensation equals an average daily...

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RSD205’s insurance plans – a very good deal

Continuing with the Rockford Education Association contract, Article 31 -Insurance Protection – The district offers Health Insurance Plans to staff members and their dependents in the amount of One Million Dollars per covered individual. If a spouse currently under the Health Insurance Plans is ineligible for his/her employer’s health insurance as outlined in paragraph one, or due to medical conditions is unable to become eligible under his/her employer’s plan, he/she may remain solely on the Health Insurance Plans and in some...

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RSD205 teacher’s contract limits class size, pays extra for students beyond contractual limits

Returning to the Rockford Education Association Contract, Article 24 – Class Size, Section A – maximum class sizes are established by the contract; Kindergarten, 24 students; Grades 1 – 3, 26 students; Grades 4 – 6, 30 students and combination of Grades 1 – 6, 23 students while combinations of students from certain grades are not allowed. For all day Kindergarten classes over 21 students, a paraprofessional shall be in place for the class within 20 days from the date of the enrollment of the 22nd child or...

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RSD205 budget gap still remains elusive as next year’s school budget is planned

As reported in Monday’s Rockford Register Star the Illinois Association of School Business Officials recommends that school districts take a conservative approach with financial planning for the next few years. The state organization is echoing statements made by Cedric Lewis, Chief financial Officer of the Rockford School District last year concerning the 2012 budget, including the one time federal stimulus funding that lapses after this school year. Interfund transfers on both the revenue and expenditure sides of a balanced budget...

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