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home : news : local   May 27, 2016

1/17/2013 1:27:00 AM
Waltham gets high marks for finances, compliance

Tom Collins
NewsTribune Senior Reporter

Waltham Schools got high marks from Springfield and La Salle County’s regional office of schools.

Superintendent Bob Abney reported Wednesday at the board meeting that the district’s finances drew perfect scores in a state-run financial assessment. The state has now given Waltham “full recognition” in consecutive school years dating back to 2005.

Abney also noted that the district is well managing its ever-diminishing state funds. Though Waltham has about 77 percent of its revenues in hand — Springfield is in arrears with respect to transportation and special-needs funding — the district has spent just 53 percent of its available funds.

“We are sitting very well at this time,” he said, adding later, “The district is very much in control of its finances.”

The regional office in Ottawa was no less impressed following a thorough compliance visit in which the district also drew high marks.

Separately, the district has corrected mechanical problems at the district’s two wind turbines. As previously reported, mechanical problems at one of the turbines have kept the district from getting reliable data on efficiency and output — though Abney remains optimistic the turbines will pay for themselves in as few as three years.

Finally, students and visitors will soon notice an American flag with an interesting story behind it.

Principal Kristi Eager advised the board that students sent a care package to a soldier in Afghanistan who replied with a warm note of thanks. Major Tim Vilter, a native of San Antonio, Texas, also expressed his appreciation by sending Waltham students a flag that was flown in a combat theater.

Eager said she was exploring options for how best to display the flag, whether on a pole outside one of the schools or in commemorative casing.

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